What was wrong with Dragon Age Inquistion

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I'm currently replaying Dragon Age Inquisition. I recall lots of people really disliking this game. For example, "single player MMO" was I quote I remember.

The thing is, I don't find it that much worse than the Witcher 3. (well, there is a little more collecting but Witcher 3 was rife with it as well.) The writing slightly less and both bad guys make as much sense. The camera is a real detractor, though. The Witcher sense is slightly different, as it doesn't light up tracks and footprints the same way.

But, for context, I'm also a person who likes the Witcher 3 but doesn't gloss over its flaws, and think people consistently overrate its value.

Thought?

Very subjective, of course, but I didn't care for the characters. I had a difficult time identifying with them. And for me, the personality of the characters in a Bioware game is extremely important. It's what they are known for. You keep playing and replaying the games because you want to hang out with characters. Even Varric, who I liked in Dragon Age 2, didn't seem to be written as well.

I couldn't buy the main story. And that's saying a lot for a fantasy RPG, in which an epic chosen-one-saves-the-world formula is pretty much expected. But the protagonist in this story becomes one of the most powerful people in Thedas much too easily and quickly... it just seemed dumb. Very artificial and forced.

The zones were too big. They were gorgeous but sprawling and boring, and full of mostly tedious quests. As a completionist who did them all, I soon just wanted to get the game overwith. Witcher 3 has this same flaw, IMO, but at least CDPR put more effort and resources into most of the sidequests to make them more interesting.

What I learned after playing DAI and Witcher 3, though, is that I just don't like massive open world games. Now when I see a game that brags about its world size in its marketing, I run the other way. Bigger is worse, not better, IMO. Give me an RPG with a tightly woven, well-written, at least semi-linear story, in a reasonably confined world, with interesting characters, and let me ride the roller coaster. You know, like the Bioware games before DAI, the games Bioware made its name from. Bioware threw that winning formula in the trash with its shift to massive open world in what seemed like a crappy attempt to copy Skyrim.

The scaling in the game was terrible. After crafting myself the best gear and doing all the sidequests, I became way too powerful, even on Nightmare difficulty. I was soloing high dragons.

Well I'm also someone who think DA:I and witcher 3 are about on the same level, there overall average, maybe 5/10 type of game. But DA:I was made with probably 10 time the budget if TW3, so that's pretty embarrassing.

Every aspect was just lackluster. The gameplay was barebone, a big stepdown from previous DA game, with less ability and no more customization of your party member behavior (also the AI was incredibly dumb, for example it would dispel negative effect off enemy). And like kerg said you'd become insanely OP very quickly and could easily solo even the toughest encounter on highest difficulty.

Story and character weren't that great. Main story was actually kinda atrocious, still remember when you're ask to decide who should win in a civil war maybe 1 hour after you're actually introduced to the different factions and what they stand for (turn out, not much). Leliana was the writer insert character, not only will she just come back to life if you killed her in a previous DA game, but she get most of the good role and seriously overshadow your character and regular party member (and she's kinda of a huge bitch). At some point you travel in the future where you were defeated and your character ask her what happen and she just says she doesn't want to talk about it (not like knowing the future could be useful) and later all your character have to defend against wave of enemy to the death, your party member get killed off screen while she get a long heroic death. Those are just some specific example, but there are plenty (iron bull loyalty mission is probably the most phone in, poorly setup quest I ever played).

There were a few nice scene here and there (the goat scene always make me laugh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYFy4vgVd54) but those weren't numerous enough to outweight the slough. I'm someone who will always defend dragon age 2, but DA:I doesn't deserve to be remember.

The Witcher 3's open-world felt more organic and lived in, and generally tried to tell little stories with its side content. Dragon Age: Inquisition's maps felt static, with little else to do other than running around collect-a-thonning. It completely lacked character.

W3 also focused a lot of time on the intimacies of the world and its characters, like folklore and general shady stuff going on in villages. DA:I focused all its attention on the big, epic (generic) battle between Good and Evil.

And beyond that DA:I was pretty badly written and just a slog to get through.

Meiam:
The gameplay was barebone, a big stepdown from previous DA game, with less ability and no more customization of your party member behavior...

I really liked the tactics system of DAO and DA2. It was a lot of fun to tinker with, to design the perfect tactics so your party ran like a well-oiled machine, while you still maintained the ability to turn off certain tactics for particular fights or override it and tell them to do something different in the middle of the fight. It was a great system. Very intricate and flexible. And they decided to trash it for some reason.

Well, superficially, it also has the Bioware derp-derp facial animation (or lack of animation sometimes) issues which tends to hurt story based gameplay. I feel like The Witcher 2&3 don't really suffer from those same issues. Of course Geralt is kind of a 1-note character, no matter your dialog choice so the range of animations for him are gruff and uncaring most of the time.

TBH, the Bioware derpies didn't bother me, or I really didn't notice them until Mass Effect Andromeda where they get out of hand.

Anyways, I think there's a whole suite of problems that really add up over 80 hours and really pile on in the first 20 hours, and it's harder to forgive them compared to many modern games. Those first 20 hours are probably when most people quit, lost track of the story, and went online to complain.
Conversely, I think the people that forgive the game may have a little videogame Stockholm Syndrome after 100+ hours.

The truth is somewhere in between.

Ravenbom:
Well, superficially, it also has the Bioware derp-derp facial animation...

And all the women in the game walk slightly stooped and bow-legged like they have really bad back problems or something. It just looks... off. Supposedly the derpy animations are from the Frostbite engine that EA made them use. It's a great engine for landscapes and scenery, but bad for character animations.

What was wrong?

Keyboard and mouse controls were crap. Hacked down to a single option compared to what was offered in previous entries. WASD and mouse for camera, compared to that and click to move as well as being able to hold down LMB+RMB to move. I never touch WASD when playing Origins (or Dragon Age II as it happens.)

Even then in the controls they gave up auto-attack. I kind of saw this coming after they had to patch it back into the console versions of DAII because "they forgot". Even when they patched it back into Inquisition they somehow managed to do it in the worst possible way.

I'll get this out of the way now. They said this was made for PC gamers by PC gamers...they down right lied. Anyone who says they didn't is deluded. Take a look at Origins on the PC and on console. Obvious effort went into both versions to ensure that both sections of gamers got the best experience. Then take a look at Inquisition and tell me the game wasn't solely designed around a controller.

I'll skip a lot of stuff as I can rant for a while but let me just end up on the complete lack of effort on modelling characters from Origins. Returning characters look nothing like they did back then. Leliana, Alistair, Loghain, Anora, Cullen.. they look nothing like they did in the first game.

"Oh but they are older" is the most common counter argument I get. Yeah I might buy that if Leliana and Cullen hadn't been dipping in the fountain of youth, that or hitting the botox heavily.

But of course those character who made their debut in Dragon Age II have had obvious effort put into their models. Varric especially is a damn near perfect recreation, so the switch to the Frostbite engine can't be blamed. They even took the effort for the default Hawkes.

Just like Andromeda, Inquisition was a game I wanted to love. In the end it just felt like Bioware had come and kicked me in the nuts.

Edit: Oh and the tactical camera being anywhere near as useful as in Origins. At least DAII had the grace to remove it instead of ****ing it up.

votemarvel:
snip

I agree with the technical issues you brought up. I actually cant remember anyone bringing this up before, except maybe the limited skills you can put on your bar and the camera.

Kerg3927:

Ravenbom:
Well, superficially, it also has the Bioware derp-derp facial animation...

And all the women in the game walk slightly stooped and bow-legged like they have really bad back problems or something. It just looks... off. Supposedly the derpy animations are from the Frostbite engine that EA made them use. It's a great engine for landscapes and scenery, but bad for character animations.

Until 'thigh gap' became a thing, I hadn't noticed this myself. Social media would be salivating over these women's thigh gaps.

Casual Shinji:
The Witcher 3's open-world felt more organic and lived in, and generally tried to tell little stories with its side content. Dragon Age: Inquisition's maps felt static, with little else to do other than running around collect-a-thonning. It completely lacked character.

W3 also focused a lot of time on the intimacies of the world and its characters, like folklore and general shady stuff going on in villages. DA:I focused all its attention on the big, epic (generic) battle between Good and Evil.

And beyond that DA:I was pretty badly written and just a slog to get through.

I would disagree on the open world... sort of. There arent many interesting structures (eg. ruins, or even landscapes like mountains) in Witcher 3. Maybe its more realistic - there are way more towns and only a few kilometres from the previous one, just like in real life. But the landscape did not attract me. Couple that with the fact that you need a quest to make these landmarks work properly, I found them annoying.

DA:I sometimes had something interesting, but it was annoying becuase a lot of effort was made to make something look good and there was sometimes nothing there. So... on par, I guess? The towns was definitely the best thing about Witcher 3

trunkage:
I would disagree on the open world... sort of. There arent many interesting structures (eg. ruins, or even landscapes like mountains) in Witcher 3. Maybe its more realistic - there are way more towns and only a few kilometres from the previous one, just like in real life. But the landscape did not attract me. Couple that with the fact that you need a quest to make these landmarks work properly, I found them annoying.

DA:I sometimes had something interesting, but it was annoying becuase a lot of effort was made to make something look good and there was sometimes nothing there. So... on par, I guess? The towns was definitely the best thing about Witcher 3

Well, the game wasn't really going for High Fantasy. It tried to portray a more grounded medieval setting where the Fantasy was seen more as remnents of an old world. All the monsters and magic in general were depicted as just more shit the commoners had to deal with, not amazing things and situations to be in awe of.

trunkage:
I would disagree on the open world... sort of. There arent many interesting structures (eg. ruins, or even landscapes like mountains) in Witcher 3. Maybe its more realistic - there are way more towns and only a few kilometres from the previous one, just like in real life. But the landscape did not attract me. Couple that with the fact that you need a quest to make these landmarks work properly, I found them annoying.

DA:I sometimes had something interesting, but it was annoying becuase a lot of effort was made to make something look good and there was sometimes nothing there. So... on par, I guess? The towns was definitely the best thing about Witcher 3

DA: I felt like an MMO-space to me. Open and with plenty of points of interest, but ultimately also feeling rigid and faked. NPCs were glued to the spot and when walking through the open world the placement of enemies reminded me more of ToR or ESO then an actual coherent placement of troops ("Oh look, a bunch of guys out in these sand dunes in the middle of nowhere, and another group 50 yards out on the top of the dunes"). DA:Is world felt more like a stage or movie backdrop, cool as long as you don't pay it particular attention.

The Witcher 3 had an equally sparse open world in most cases. The difference for me was that it was a coherent space full of ambiance and those small signs of life. The fact that you could encounter peasants praying at roadside shrines, meet merchants on the road and didn't run into a mob of monsters every fifty meters (unless you went looking for them) made the world of the Witcher 3 feel like it could be a real place. It was still sparse and the illusion was shattered if you tried to interact with the world (ie. go to the haunted house prior to getting the quest, talk to the roadside peasants), but overall the Witcher 3 nailed ambiance in a way that DA:I never did.

This is why I keep saying that the Witcher 3 is a really bad example of an open world game, because most of the world offers very little gameplay. As an example of an open world experience the Witcher 3 is in the top spots, because CDPR absolutely nailed the ambiance of the world in a way that made you think that Velen could well be a place in Europe (and those beaches are so similar to the beaches here that it is scary).

I think expectation played a major part of the problem. The previous Dragon Ages had a formula that worked, combat that was entertaining and an art style of its own. Going into DAI I had expected more of the same, so to have it so greatly different to the winning formula was a shock. I really hadn't read reviews or seen much about it in advance, I just brought it based on loving the series, and was disappointed.
It was a console port with bad controls and an annoying forgettable story. It felt like someone had seen the success of World of Warcraft and said "we need to copy that!" The same MMO feel without the entertainment of a live community.
I never finished it, just wasn't fun. I still have it installed with the intent that I'd go back to it one day, but I know I never will.

It just felt off , i mean the whole world just felt dead. The worlds you traveled to almost lack polish in anyway to make that world seem alive. It felt like a "single player MMO" because it was set up as one, if you look at the way the larger maps were designed in DAI. They mimicked the way a MMO map would be set up, nothing of interest between the monster spawn point were and you. Even the creatures that were spawned never moved away from their spawn points at all if you think about it. Then you had quest givers or tasks which were nothing more than kill this # of times or collect this # of times. Not a problem if you didn't always just run into those quests , but they were everywhere.

The story was not great by any means compared to the weight that the original and the second game held. Here in DAI i found any weight to the story lost with the amount of lifeless maps i had to travel to . Characters which felt shoe horned in, as EA appeared to be catering to one or another group.Those characters were boring and really uninspiring , even the main cast from previous games were infected with bad storytelling and plot development.

Also this was the first Dragon Age with multiplayer that people seemed to have forgotten about. In truth the multiplayer parts of the game seemed to have been better developed and well rounded than the solo experience. At the time DAI seemed to have spoken volumes to what would happen to Mass Effect a year or so later. With that i am done with EA, Bioware and any rpgs they may have in the works.

It was the characters and quests. In witcher 3, I could take a contract to hunt down a few drowners or something, instead find some suspicious tattered object, track down the origin of that object and suddenly my "kill X number of baddies" quest turned into something with genuine intrigue and become something wholly different before the quest was over. Witcher just had this rabbit hole effect that pulled you in and made you want to find out what happens, even if it has nothing to do with the main story.

DAI OTOH, if you get told to kill 20 enemies, you are going to be killing 20 enemies and nothing else.

Truthfully there's a lot to like in DA:I, however since its pacing is more than a little rough and the game feels very sluggish until Skyhold I don't blame anyone who doesn't like the characters from saying "Bother this nonsense" and playing something else. And some character quests are better than others. I liked Dorian, thought he was fuckng hilarious but his personal quest lacks some meat and nuance whereas the more straightforward quest for Vivienne I found rather effective.

Also, fuck Solas - you know why. And fuck Sera - its good you care about the less visible folks but the big picture is important too, dunderhead.

It's boring. The game seems like it was designed by a committee of businessmen instead of actual game developers. It didn't have to be so huge. It didn't need all those enormous open areas. It only had them because of how successful Skyrim was and EA wanted their very own open-world RPG. But Dragon Age formula simply doesn't work in a big open world. Neither does Mass Effect Andromeda. And by the way, these two grindy pieces of shit were made before EA realized that they can implement microtransactions everywhere. So you can only imagine how much their next game is going to be designed with microtransactions in mind. Instead of making the game more fun to play, they'll just make a boring game with an option to skip boring parts with money.

Oh, and every character had exactly one personality trait that's been dialed up to 11. It's amazing how shallow they are.

It's a real shame too, because I love Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2. And I did like how much they've added to the lore in Inquisition. In fact I think as far as lore goes, Dragon Age is vastly superior to other Bioware titles. And their version of elves and dwarves is my favorite in all fantasy.

Well I didn't hate it. It was pretty good, I do love the whole "history through different religious lenses" thing. If they continue doing that I may just be forced to buy the next one.

That said, DAI was Dragon Age Normie/Tumblrfied. The unapologetic edginess of the first one is pretty much gone. Cortheius had a good entrance but after skyhold it was the scoobie gang against grandpa Coritheius who just won't get the times.

I mostly hated the 'open world' aspect of it. It had no other purpose but to waste your time with fetch quests and i don't really know if collecting all that garbage even had a purpose in the end since i got witcher 3 before finishing it and didn't want to go back.

Adam Jensen:
And by the way, these two grindy pieces of shit were made before EA realized that they can implement microtransactions everywhere. So you can only imagine how much their next game is going to be designed with microtransactions in mind. Instead of making the game more fun to play, they'll just make a boring game with an option to skip boring parts with money.

Yep. That's exactly what they have planned for the next Dragon Age, if it ever comes to fruition. A service-oriented game with microtransactions. But I think if Anthem flops, DA4 may never happen. EA will just shut down Bioware and add it to their dustheap of dead companies they've acquired, milked dry, and discarded.

The past year has been tumultuous for BioWare and involved some major changes to the studio. One was to reboot the fourth Dragon Age, which at the time was code-named Joplin, according to two sources. (There's a running theme here-Anthem's codename was Dylan.) The goal, those sources said, was to implement more "live" elements into the game, although two of those sources stressed that this next Dragon Age will still have a heavy focus on characters and story, whenever it does come out. It's not clear what a "live" version of Dragon Age might look like, but EA has been public about its embrace of games as a service, and its lack of interest in releasing $60 games that do not have any sort of revenue tail, whether that means paid extra content, microtransactions, or something else.

Kotaku article

I think the biggest difference between DA:I and TW3 in terms of why people liked one game over the other is mostly context. The writing in TW3 is far and above the level of anything in DA:I, from not only the main scenario but also the sidequests and even just the little notes you find lying around.

I remember walking around in the base picking up books in DA:I and trying to read these long pages of uninteresting nonsense. Whereas the little notes I found on bandits in TW3 were wonderful because they were mostly not very long, and additionally give well written context to why a random group of bandits were where you found them or why they did what they did.

The quality is in the details right? The attention to detail and to care that makes the Witcher's world so beautiful and interesting just isn't in place in DA:I.

DA:I is a convoluted mess that doesn't really have an interesting premise to begin with. So when you are out in the DA world, you don't really found yourself motivated to the cause so to speak. The Witcher fixes this because, you don't really have much of a cause right? As a Witcher your job is to go around and kill monsters for money, which gives you plenty of agency to go around the world and talk to people, and fight shit. As you do this job you get caught up in many different and intriguing story lines as Geralt tries to tie everything together and find Ciri. Admittedly TW3 does fall victim to the Fallout 4 situation in which you have to save someone, yet are easily distracted by card games, and helping minor people for little reason other than to be a nice guy. But I'd take that situation in a well-written form, than the poorly written "you are the most important person on the planet, go pick my fucking flowers" situation.

The controls on PC killed that game for me, especially when compared to Origins.

I didn't make it far into the starting area before I decided to just give up because I was finding it more frustrating than fun.

And the less said about that joke of a "tactical mode" the better.

Commanderfantasy:
Admittedly TW3 does fall victim to the Fallout 4 situation in which you have to save someone, yet are easily distracted by card games, and helping minor people for little reason other than to be a nice guy. But I'd take that situation in a well-written form, than the poorly written "you are the most important person on the planet, go pick my fucking flowers" situation.

It's the same flaw, just better masked by CDPR. It's an inherent design flaw in massive open world RPG's, IMO. Sprawling map space means more sidequests to fill that space, which necessarily detracts from the urgency of the main story. They compete against one another.

Which is why I prefer RPG's with smaller, more confined worlds. Games that achieve a balance between main story and side content and thus preserve the urgency of main story. Games like DAO, DA2, and ME1-3. Bioware had the perfect formula, IMO, and they were the best in the world at what they did, but they threw it all away, presumably because they saw Skyrim's ridiculous sales figures and felt pressure (from EA) to emulate it.

trunkage:
I'm currently replaying Dragon Age Inquisition. I recall lots of people really disliking this game. For example, "single player MMO" was I quote I remember.

The thing is, I don't find it that much worse than the Witcher 3. (well, there is a little more collecting but Witcher 3 was rife with it as well.) The writing slightly less and both bad guys make as much sense. The camera is a real detractor, though. The Witcher sense is slightly different, as it doesn't light up tracks and footprints the same way.

But, for context, I'm also a person who likes the Witcher 3 but doesn't gloss over its flaws, and think people consistently overrate its value.

Thought?

Hmmm. First off, I feel obliged to tell you that the Witcher 3 is in my personal top 5 videogames ever. I've been gaming for a hell of a long time, and this game just tickles me in all the right places. I really feel like it set a new standard for story-driven rpg's. It's certainly not perfect, because what is? But I do notice any internetboard-criticism leveled in its direction, and you, my fellow rpg-lover, have been taking a noticeable amount of potshots lately at a game you claim to like. I am even under the impression that your intention for this thread is more about The Witcher 3 than DA:I.
That being said, you have a full right to take all the shots you want, so by all means fire away.

I liked DA:I. I once played right up until the final boss, then just stopped for some reason. Then I came back later and did a completely new playthrough and beat it. So I have around 300 hours in it. It's big, and yes, there's a lot of filler. You can argue this is also the case for TW3. But where all the busywork in TW3 has lots and lots of stories with neat twists and turns, in DA:I it's all basically collecting skulls and crap and "quests" that are written thusly:

"I lost my cow."
"Neat, Imma find it" [later] "here's your cow"
"Thank you for finding my cow"
XP AWARDED

Both games may have had similar structures at heart, but TW3 did it LIGHTYEARS better.

And another thing:

Bioware/EA cut out a full chapter of the main story and sold it as DLC. Don't you dare tell me they didn't.
Trespasser would have made an AWESOME finale, would have completed an actual story arc and they just cut it out and sold it to you for a surplus. This is why the finale seems so stupid and it drags the whole story down.

CD Projekt have so much more class.

So this is why DA:I is remembered as a bit of a dud. TW3 came out shortly afterwards and really did everything better. It made an ass out of Dragon Age. Which is a shame, because as I said, for context, I really liked DA:I. I just think you're overrating its value.

Kerg3927:

Commanderfantasy:
Admittedly TW3 does fall victim to the Fallout 4 situation in which you have to save someone, yet are easily distracted by card games, and helping minor people for little reason other than to be a nice guy. But I'd take that situation in a well-written form, than the poorly written "you are the most important person on the planet, go pick my fucking flowers" situation.

It's the same flaw, just better masked by CDPR. It's an inherent design flaw in massive open world RPG's, IMO. Sprawling map space means more sidequests to fill that space, which necessarily detracts from the urgency of the main story. They compete against one another.

Which is why I prefer RPG's with smaller, more confined worlds. Games that achieve a balance between main story and side content and thus preserve the urgency of main story. Games like DAO, DA2, and ME1-3. Bioware had the perfect formula, IMO, and they were the best in the world at what they did, but they threw it all away, presumably because they saw Skyrim's ridiculous sales figures and felt pressure (from EA) to emulate it.

It's an outdated design flaw.

Something I think the developers of these open world games don't seem to understand, is that just because you have the space, doesn't mean you have to make every square inch important. And certainly the old school questing system of: talk to npc and get quest, go do quest, return to npc for reward: is a waste in an open world environment.

The Witcher does something pretty great that you can only really experience if you turn off the HUD. In normal gameplay, you can go to a quest board in town and have a shit load of question marks bukaki all over your map. However all of those "?" are always in the world, so if you just decided to go wander around the woods, you would organically come across bandit camps, monster nests, treasure hunts, and the like, all without ever having to deal with the back and forth you get form npc side quest givers. Now TW3 doesn't do this perfectly, and there is certainly areas in which the system can improve.

For example, what if the game procedurally generated side content on the fly from a pool of possible situations? The main quest can still be a directing guide of the player to have a direction to go, but the side content they experience is completely random and sudden. Let's say that the player is making a delivery through the woods from one town to another for a main story reason, but on the road the game triggers a side quest event where a woman in distress bursts onto the trail from the woods, and the player sees her get captured by black figures on horseback and they ride off into the woods. Now the player can follow these enemies and try to save the woman, or they can ignore it and move on to continue the main quest. Later down the road they can be ambushed by men from what appeared to be the same group of black figures, adding to the story of the woman who was taken (if the player ignored her), or perhaps the game randomly decides that there isn't a woman and these figures attack the player outright.

By not littering the map with checklists, the developers can create situations that organically lead players to cool parts of the world. Shows that treasure and adventure lies all over, if they care to look for it and that the game is more than it's core plot line.

I don't agree with you're opinions on Mass Effect. The side content was trash, and the formula for each game was exactly the same.

Mass Effect checklist:
1. Introduce big bad.
2. Gather crew.
3. Do individual crew missions (optionally)
4. Fight big bad.
-Fin-

All 3 games follow that exact path, and there was absolutely nothing memorable or interesting in any of the super minor side quests.

Never played TW3, but DAI got boring for me cause it was all the same shit over and over. It was a game entirely of fetch quests and kill everything quests in their most simple forms. There weren't interesting lore reasons or side stories, just counters that filled up as you killed things or picked flowers. Unlocking new areas should be an exciting thing, instead it was just to open up a new area with exactly the same quests you were doing in every other area. There were no surprises, no interesting hand crafted quests out in the world. Just mindless grind for Power until you could unlock the next story mission.

In another big failure, the plot and characters didn't hold up well. A few characters were okay but none stuck with me. Even Varric, one of the only things I liked in DA2, lacked the magic of his prior outing. The plot was barebones, to the point of barely existing thanks to the mountain of filler content between plot points. Every time the game starts to have an interesting idea, you gotta take a break to grind Power to be allowed to do the next story mission, which sucks any anticipation right out the window. The villain is a waste as well. He doesn't even show up for several hours, then doesn't come out again until the end for a disappointing boss fight. His motives had a lot of potential for being an interesting villain, but no. He's just out doing THINGS I guess. As a more personal bugbear, I really thing that the "chosen one/most influential person in the world" doesn't really work for this type of game. If I'm the big boss of a huge organization full of artisans, soldiers, scouts and the like, why am I out doing the bitch work? Surely if I am so important I should only be going out on super important missions, not being sent into random areas to explore, pick flowers, and making all my own gear. Generals don't fight on front lines with the grunts.

The game overall felt like a committee game, designed to have a lot of content to appeal to people rather than focusing on making good content. Between it and Andromeda Bioware games have far gone from what made them great in favor of generic masses of nothing made to keep you playing in a loop. It's really depressing and I hope against hope that they can turn it around before EA buries them.

Commanderfantasy:

Kerg3927:

Commanderfantasy:
Admittedly TW3 does fall victim to the Fallout 4 situation in which you have to save someone, yet are easily distracted by card games, and helping minor people for little reason other than to be a nice guy. But I'd take that situation in a well-written form, than the poorly written "you are the most important person on the planet, go pick my fucking flowers" situation.

It's the same flaw, just better masked by CDPR. It's an inherent design flaw in massive open world RPG's, IMO. Sprawling map space means more sidequests to fill that space, which necessarily detracts from the urgency of the main story. They compete against one another.

Which is why I prefer RPG's with smaller, more confined worlds. Games that achieve a balance between main story and side content and thus preserve the urgency of main story. Games like DAO, DA2, and ME1-3. Bioware had the perfect formula, IMO, and they were the best in the world at what they did, but they threw it all away, presumably because they saw Skyrim's ridiculous sales figures and felt pressure (from EA) to emulate it.

It's an outdated design flaw.

Something I think the developers of these open world games don't seem to understand, is that just because you have the space, doesn't mean you have to make every square inch important. And certainly the old school questing system of: talk to npc and get quest, go do quest, return to npc for reward: is a waste in an open world environment.

The Witcher does something pretty great that you can only really experience if you turn off the HUD. In normal gameplay, you can go to a quest board in town and have a shit load of question marks bukaki all over your map. However all of those "?" are always in the world, so if you just decided to go wander around the woods, you would organically come across bandit camps, monster nests, treasure hunts, and the like, all without ever having to deal with the back and forth you get form npc side quest givers. Now TW3 doesn't do this perfectly, and there is certainly areas in which the system can improve.

For example, what if the game procedurally generated side content on the fly from a pool of possible situations? The main quest can still be a directing guide of the player to have a direction to go, but the side content they experience is completely random and sudden. Let's say that the player is making a delivery through the woods from one town to another for a main story reason, but on the road the game triggers a side quest event where a woman in distress bursts onto the trail from the woods, and the player sees her get captured by black figures on horseback and they ride off into the woods. Now the player can follow these enemies and try to save the woman, or they can ignore it and move on to continue the main quest. Later down the road they can be ambushed by men from what appeared to be the same group of black figures, adding to the story of the woman who was taken (if the player ignored her), or perhaps the game randomly decides that there isn't a woman and these figures attack the player outright.

By not littering the map with checklists, the developers can create situations that organically lead players to cool parts of the world. Shows that treasure and adventure lies all over, if they care to look for it and that the game is more than it's core plot line.

Maybe I should try replaying TW3 one day with the HUD turned off. Because even though the majority of side content was well-done, the OCD completionist in me could not ignore all those symbols on the map. I had to do them all. After a while it became a slog, and as I said, it detracted from the main story for me. And I understand that that is largely a "me" problem. I just have a problem with skipping content. I need world confinement and limitations on side content to protect me from slogging through it all and getting bored. I'd rather the boring content just not be there.

Commanderfantasy:
I don't agree with you're opinions on Mass Effect. The side content was trash, and the formula for each game was exactly the same.

Mass Effect checklist:
1. Introduce big bad.
2. Gather crew.
3. Do individual crew missions (optionally)
4. Fight big bad.
-Fin-

[quote="Commanderfantasy" post="9.1038368.24198451"]All 3 games follow that exact path, and there was absolutely nothing memorable or interesting in any of the super minor side quests.

But the side content was minor, and not very time consuming, so to me it never felt like a slog. Just small breaks in between the main story action. For example, in the original Mass Effect, there is a grand total of 26 UNC missions, all of them optional. That's the filler, and it takes very little time to knock them out a few at a time. Compare that to DAI or TW3, which has hundreds upon hundreds. There are like 60+ smugglers caches in Skellige alone. Every time I'd touch a billboard and see another dozen question marks pop up out in the ocean, it made me want to cry. Because I knew it meant more hours spent slogging around on that stupid little boat and killing harpies and looting crap. But what if one of those question marks was actually something interesting? If I skip it, I'll never know. Bleh...

Yeah, the formula for Mass Effect was the same, but it was an awesome formula, IMO. Great characters. Fun story. Gather your team and save the galaxy against all odds. It's the Seven Samurai formula, and it's still a great formula.

Comic Sans:
Unlocking new areas should be an exciting thing, instead it was just to open up a new area with exactly the same quests you were doing in every other area. There were no surprises, no interesting hand crafted quests out in the world. Just mindless grind for Power until you could unlock the next story mission.

Oh my god, yes. This is so disappointingly true. I remember thinking "I hope this new area is smaller than the last. I just want to get it over with."

That's not something that you should be thinking when you're playing a brand new game and unlocking new content. And the longer I played the more I felt like everything was a grind. Even crafting mechanics that started off as really cool felt like a chore because I couldn't help thinking that the more time I spend crafting weapons and armor the longer I delay exploring the next area, which means it will take longer for me to get to the next story mission.

On the other hand, I'm still playing The Witcher 3. And I still get excited when I'm about to unlock Skellige. I still cherish every moment of the game more than two years later.

Potjeslatinist:
snip

The Witcher was brought up only for comparison purposes.

But I won't deny that I have a prejudice against the criticism (or lack there of) of the Witcher. Don't get me wrong, I still like even Witcher 1, and defend it. But every time I hear a critique against another game because Witcher is better, I start applying to another game, and the critique generally falls apart.

I remember NOT buying the Witcher 3 on launch - I waited a month, because reports of bugs. CDPR literally gave everyone extra dlc to counter this fact. I'm not big into being bought so this probably didn't have the effect they wanted on me. I had so many problems with bugs and crashes, it was ridiculous. Even after I deliberate waited. Even after they put out lots of patches.

A little later I play Fallout 4. I had one crash and a flying bear for about the same amount of hours. I remember on this forum and elsewhere commenting on how well F4 work (i.e. didnt crash or have bugs). But which one is deemed as a buggy mess? I call shenanigans.

People praise the ending where you talk to Ciri and that decides the epilogue. I've heard it called respectful of women and some such. I see it as disrespectful - Ciri is going to only try hard to survive becuase Geralt said something? It's as bad as having to get 'loyalty' for your party memeber in ME2 to survive the suicide mission.

Don't get me wrong. The Witcher 3 is still the better game. But it isnt miles ahead of everything. I understand that a lot of this has to do with personal experience.

I also understand how popularity works. Like the Mona Lisa was deemed a bad piece of art til it was stolen or Moby Dick was a flop until WW!, 50 years later, when it spoke to the people in the trenches. I understand that point out bad journalism and criticism of the Witcher 3 isn't going to win any friends, just like I see that this same journalism is the reason why its popular (and not the actual product. Well, the product was pretty good so that a slightly untrue statement)

I agree Tresspasser being cut out was terrible. It cut out so much potential and I still don't understand the point of Flemeth. Feels like a waste to me. I brought this up as I was surprised, since I haven't played DA:I since release, that I still liked it. Even with the faulty controls, dialogue animation, lacklustre villain (and being downgraded from 2), the collectibles and having to go back to the war table all the time.

Adam Jensen:

Comic Sans:
Unlocking new areas should be an exciting thing, instead it was just to open up a new area with exactly the same quests you were doing in every other area. There were no surprises, no interesting hand crafted quests out in the world. Just mindless grind for Power until you could unlock the next story mission.

Oh my god, yes. This is so disappointingly true. I remember thinking "I hope this new area is smaller than the last. I just want to get it over with."

That's not something that you should be thinking when you're playing a brand new game and unlocking new content. And the longer I played the more I felt like everything was a grind. Even crafting mechanics that started off as really cool felt like a chore because I couldn't help thinking that the more time I spend crafting weapons and armor the longer I delay exploring the next area, which means it will take longer for me to get to the next story mission.

On the other hand, I'm still playing The Witcher 3. And I still get excited when I'm about to unlock Skellige. I still cherish every moment of the game more than two years later.

I remember when I first reach Skelliege. I let out an audible sigh. I've never done that to any game before or since. Then I find Skelliege is padding and is pretty disrespectful of my time. It doesn't help that you have to spend time with Yennefer, who is the worst. Then you get to the fishing expedient... over and over

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Single-player MMO is exactly what it was.

The environments were gorgeous, but none of them had anything interesting to do. They were big, open, and full of collectibles and fetch quests.

The story had its moments (If my choices ever led me to need to pick between Alistair and Hawke, I would probably freeze up), and the combat was certainly flashier, but overall, the game never really used its open world in any meaningful way.

It was released after Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2, so all trust in Bioware was gone by that point.

Miles wide, not even inches deep. Open world filled with tons of repetitive tasks, but very few noteworthy quests. A story that was sort of alright, but it requires to have played a DA2 DLC to actually understand who the hell the villain is and where he came from, which is naff. Really unbalanced gameplay, especially if you're adept at min-maxing. Completely disregards choices you may have made in earlier games (though most of these are leftovers from 2 ignoring them, so it's not completely Inqs fault).

Oh and then they went and put the true ending behind a paywall, like greedy little piglets.

TheFinish:
Really unbalanced gameplay, especially if you're adept at min-maxing.

interesting, can you elaborate on this?

Completely disregards choices you may have made in earlier games (though most of these are leftovers from 2 ignoring them, so it's not completely Inqs fault).

This frustrates me more than anything else. But I haven't met a game that does it properly. The Witcher is pretty bad, Elder Scrolls is worse by completely ignoring or making up silliness like Chim and the Warp in the West. I got more frustrated over this in the Mass Effect than the ending to 3. One of the reasons I dislike Fallout 2 is becuase it did the same thing to F1.

trunkage:

TheFinish:
Really unbalanced gameplay, especially if you're adept at min-maxing.

interesting, can you elaborate on this?

Completely disregards choices you may have made in earlier games (though most of these are leftovers from 2 ignoring them, so it's not completely Inqs fault).

This frustrates me more than anything else. But I haven't met a game that does it properly. The Witcher is pretty bad, Elder Scrolls is worse by completely ignoring or making up silliness like Chim and the Warp in the West. I got more frustrated over this in the Mass Effect than the ending to 3. One of the reasons I dislike Fallout 2 is becuase it did the same thing to F1.

To the min-maxing point: there's specialisations that are vastly more powerful than others, the most egregious being Tempest for the Rogue (you can find videos on youtube of Tempest Rogues killing High Dragons on Nightmare in less than 20 seconds when combined with Cole's assassin abilities) and Knight Enchanter for the Mage (who are just unbeatable tanks). If you know what you're doing, the game's only challenging a bit in the beginning, and then you just blaze through it.

And yes, it's hard to find a game that does choices in between games right, but pulling what DA2 pulls by literally reviving people you killed (Leliana and Zevran) with no explanation at all just rankles. I understand the need for canonical end-states (I mean, can you imagine how much work it'd be to design a Fallout 2 taking into account every possible combination of end-states from the locations in 1? You'd be screwed even today, let alone back in 1998.)

But in Dragon Age's case, you could've just swapped Leliana and Zevran for a new character if they were killed in 1, and not lose anything. Instead they chose to circumvent player agency and have 'em alive and kicking for no adequately good reason.

Nothing was glaringly wrong at first, I enjoyed the previous 2 games very much and was looking forward to this. But I can only squeeze in so many massive, lengthy, grindy open world games in a year. And I just had to cull this one, because it looked like a bit too much of busywork. Forced busywork, in fact. I like to really explore and get lost in the worlds of the games that I play, so between this and TW3 and other games I played that year, there was no way this one was going to fit in there.

Looking back on it, I'm kinda relieved, because it looks like it would have amounted to more frustration than reward.

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