David Gaider says Bioware decides what 'dead' means in Dragon Age 2

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David Gaider, lead writer on Dragon Age 2, has declared that being 'dead' isn't such a big deal in Dragon Age 2.

Apparently Leliana was just pretending when I chopped her head off. Alrighty then.

This seems a bit contradictary, especially considering Bioware had been playing up the 'big choices that matter' in regards to their games and especially especially in how they didn't pull this in Mass Effect 2. Wrex STAYED dead.

Seems like a big retcon cover to me. Thoughts?

Source: http://social.bioware.com/%20http:/social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6589945/2

Maybe it didn't occur to them when they made the game and now they're covering their asses...? Sure they could make up for it with a patch to allow Leliana's death to transfer between games(I assume, it could be way more difficult than I think) but it's sort of human nature to not man up like that.

Or maybe you just "KO'd" Leliana if she turns on you, considering thats all getting ripped in half by an Ogre does.

That is an AMAZINGLY HUGE plot hole!
That is so great someone spotted this! I haven't given it a thought.

Yeah, but I distinctly remember cutting off her head once.
I can understand maybe some people in the DA universe can survive that.

Hmm, maybe the Maker was protecting her after all.

secretsantaone:

David Gaider, lead writer on Dragon Age 2, has declared that being 'dead' isn't such a big deal in Dragon Age 2.

Apparently Leliana was just pretending when I chopped her head off. Alrighty then.

This seems a bit contradictary, especially considering Bioware had been playing up the 'big choices that matter' in regards to their games and especially especially in how they didn't pull this in Mass Effect 2. Wrex STAYED dead.

Seems like a big retcon cover to me. Thoughts?

Source: http://social.bioware.com/%20http:/social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6589945/2

Different writers.

But yes, that is a retcon.

With a game that gives you a massive amount of control over what occurs in game, of course there will be little inconsistencies like this.

When I played through Dragon Age II, I was glad to see Leliana turn up as she was my favourite character from DA: O, and I sure as hell didn't kill her in Origins.

Cheesepower5:
Maybe it didn't occur to them when they made the game and now they're covering their asses...? Sure they could make up for it with a patch to allow Leliana's death to transfer between games(I assume, it could be way more difficult than I think) but it's sort of human nature to not man up like that.

I think it says a lot about the writing team if they put a character into the game without realising she could actually be dead for some people.

Thank god it's a different writing team working on Mass Effect 3.

I never knew Bioware followed comic book logic.

Protip: Its better to own your mistakes than it is to just call the person pointing them out wrong.

(And if anyone says that I need an apostrophe in "Its" then SHUT UP YOU ARE WRONG.)

ZiggyE:
With a game that gives you a massive amount of control over what occurs in game, of course there will be little inconsistencies like this.

When I played through Dragon Age II, I was glad to see Leliana turn up as she was my favourite character from DA: O, and I sure as hell didn't kill her in Origins.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a mistake, but from the tone he takes in the comments he acts like it was meant to happen and the users are wrong for assuming a dead person stays dead.

It basically says your choices don't mean jack if Bioware doesn't like it.

Reasonable explanations:

1) Brother Genitivi (who could well have explored a bit more before leaving for Denerim) finds Leliana and manages to save her with the ashes (we only have the cultist's word that defiling them has any effect. And come on, they aren't exactly reliable sources of info).

2) After hearing rumors etc, a mage with the spirit healer specialization stumbles across her body and revives her.

And if it is a bit of hand-waving/retconning, what of it? It doesn't change DA:O, and if DA3 comes out, and the Warden runs into Leliana again, you just have her set to hate the Warden. Minor plot holes happen. /shrug

This is why Drew Karpyshyn (+ Mac Walters) rules.

Because (a.) you know that a good sequel is one that happens AFTER the main storyline of the first, and (b.) you don't let your personal feelings on a character determine whether they live or die. You know, if that character was important to the story as a whole than we thought, maybe it would have been a good idea to, oh I don't know... not give the option to kill said character, maybe?

Decapitation was merely a setback.

It would seem David Gaider needs to read more Comic Books then because they do retcons really well, seeing how they been doing it for years.

secretsantaone:

ZiggyE:
With a game that gives you a massive amount of control over what occurs in game, of course there will be little inconsistencies like this.

When I played through Dragon Age II, I was glad to see Leliana turn up as she was my favourite character from DA: O, and I sure as hell didn't kill her in Origins.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a mistake, but from the tone he takes in the comments he acts like it was meant to happen and the users are wrong for assuming a dead person stays dead.

It basically says your choices don't mean jack if Bioware doesn't like it.

If Bioware intends to keep creating sequels and to have all these sequels intertwine with each over with overarching story line (which seems to be the direction they are heading after DA II) then eventually we are going to get these sort of inconsistencies. It will be impossible to take every possible action in these games into account. They are doing a fine job as it is.

And ultimately, it is there intellectual property, they can decide what they want to make canon and what they don't want to make canon and the fanbase will just have to deal with it.

Jaded Scribe:
Reasonable explanations:

1) Brother Genitivi (who could well have explored a bit more before leaving for Denerim) finds Leliana and manages to save her with the ashes (we only have the cultist's word that defiling them has any effect. And come on, they aren't exactly reliable sources of info).

2) After hearing rumors etc, a mage with the spirit healer specialization stumbles across her body and revives her.

And if it is a bit of hand-waving/retconning, what of it? It doesn't change DA:O, and if DA3 comes out, and the Warden runs into Leliana again, you just have her set to hate the Warden. Minor plot holes happen. /shrug

1). It only heals, doesn't bring back from the dead.

2.) Your characters get 'knocked out' not killed. Spirit healers aren't necromancers.

Killing Leliana was a huge factor in Origins, choosing to bump off one of YOUR OWN party members felt like a massive decision. This basically says your decision doesn't matter and Bioware reserves the right to do it again in DA3

It was all part of her application to join SG-1. They now have a policy requiring at least one death on your resume.

secretsantaone:

Cheesepower5:
Maybe it didn't occur to them when they made the game and now they're covering their asses...? Sure they could make up for it with a patch to allow Leliana's death to transfer between games(I assume, it could be way more difficult than I think) but it's sort of human nature to not man up like that.

I think it says a lot about the writing team if they put a character into the game without realising she could actually be dead for some people.

Thank god it's a different writing team working on Mass Effect 3.

Well, human error and all. You would think one of them would spot it though.

But hey, that's just my theory.

Pretty huge Mass Effect spoiler in the OP there....

secretsantaone:

ZiggyE:
With a game that gives you a massive amount of control over what occurs in game, of course there will be little inconsistencies like this.

When I played through Dragon Age II, I was glad to see Leliana turn up as she was my favourite character from DA: O, and I sure as hell didn't kill her in Origins.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a mistake, but from the tone he takes in the comments he acts like it was meant to happen and the users are wrong for assuming a dead person stays dead.

It basically says your choices don't mean jack if Bioware doesn't like it.

Given the vast amount of choices you make in the game, can you really expect them to setup a scenario accounting for every possible decision? That requires a great deal of time and wasted effort.

Leliana was a minor supporting character that was very popular, who's death happened in a relatively small amount of playthroughs (seeing as the player had to go out of their way to kill her, both defiling the ashes and not intimidating her out of attacking). They decided to bring her forward into DA2. It takes a very small amount hand-waving to make this make sense, but would have required a good amount of time and money to cover the contingency. Because they liked the character.

Look at Anders, he's set to be a companion in DA2, but if you

I believe it's also possible to not recruit Justice to the player's party in Awakening, causing what would have been a huge change in DA2.

Could Gaider have been a little more diplomatic about it, sure. But we all have our bad days, and days where we break and snap at people. Just because he's an "official" BioWare person doesn't mean he's not human.

ZiggyE:

secretsantaone:

ZiggyE:
With a game that gives you a massive amount of control over what occurs in game, of course there will be little inconsistencies like this.

When I played through Dragon Age II, I was glad to see Leliana turn up as she was my favourite character from DA: O, and I sure as hell didn't kill her in Origins.

I wouldn't mind so much if it was a mistake, but from the tone he takes in the comments he acts like it was meant to happen and the users are wrong for assuming a dead person stays dead.

It basically says your choices don't mean jack if Bioware doesn't like it.

If Bioware intends to keep creating sequels and to have all these sequels intertwine with each over with overarching story line (which seems to be the direction they are heading after DA II) then eventually we are going to get these sort of inconsistencies. It will be impossible to take every possible action in these games into account. They are doing a fine job as it is.

And ultimately, it is there intellectual property, they can decide what they want to make canon and what they don't want to make canon and the fanbase will just have to deal with it.

There really wasn't a massive amount of choice in Dragon Age 2 as it was.

This is just lazy writing, pure and simple, after ONE game there shouldn't be as bigger plothole as a dead person coming miraculously back to life.

MiracleOfSound:
Pretty huge Mass Effect spoiler in the OP there....

It came out in 07. There has to be a cutoff point sometime.
Dear lord. I just thought of something. What if they decide to just throw the Suicide Mission out the window? Now I'm afraid.

secretsantaone:

Jaded Scribe:
Reasonable explanations:

1) Brother Genitivi (who could well have explored a bit more before leaving for Denerim) finds Leliana and manages to save her with the ashes (we only have the cultist's word that defiling them has any effect. And come on, they aren't exactly reliable sources of info).

2) After hearing rumors etc, a mage with the spirit healer specialization stumbles across her body and revives her.

And if it is a bit of hand-waving/retconning, what of it? It doesn't change DA:O, and if DA3 comes out, and the Warden runs into Leliana again, you just have her set to hate the Warden. Minor plot holes happen. /shrug

1). It only heals, doesn't bring back from the dead.

2.) Your characters get 'knocked out' not killed. Spirit healers aren't necromancers.

Killing Leliana was a huge factor in Origins, choosing to bump off one of YOUR OWN party members felt like a massive decision. This basically says your decision doesn't matter and Bioware reserves the right to do it again in DA3

It feels like a major decision, but think about it... is it really?

Take away the emotional context of killing a comrade. What change did it have to the story? None. Zero. Zilch.

A little hand-waving and retconning is almost required with a game with as many choices as DA. To build scenarios for every single possible choice ever made while maintaining 100% linearity in the story requires a massive amount content to be added, and that's just going to grow exponentially with each new game.

They have to have some wiggle room, or it spirals out of control, or completely precludes characters from ever appearing again.

What nitpicky whiners. The characters from Dragon Age I play such a small role in Dragon Age II, I don't see how it matters in the slightest.

I think it's gameplay and story segregation here. Sure in some cases if you fought Leilana the combat ended with her decapitated, but that is not a certainty. Plenty of gamers who chose that option would have seen her just fall over, no dismemberment required. So David is simply retconing the possiblity that she was decapitated and changing it to she was injured and appeared dead.

It's not that big a deal, there are plenty of "not quite dead" examples in all games. Simply put as far as Bioware is concerned the end fight animations in Origins is not canon and since there is no "check Lelina's pulse" option they can invoke this.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

MiracleOfSound:
Pretty huge Mass Effect spoiler in the OP there....

It came out in 07. There has to be a cutoff point sometime.
Dear lord. I just thought of something. What if they decide to just throw the Suicide Mission out the window? Now I'm afraid.

There is no

....

...ever.

MasochisticMuse:
What nitpicky whiners. The characters from Dragon Age I play such a small role in Dragon Age II, I don't see how it matters in the slightest.

Bioware outright saying your choices only matter as long as BW likes them isn't a big deal?

Jaded Scribe:

secretsantaone:

Jaded Scribe:
Reasonable explanations:

1) Brother Genitivi (who could well have explored a bit more before leaving for Denerim) finds Leliana and manages to save her with the ashes (we only have the cultist's word that defiling them has any effect. And come on, they aren't exactly reliable sources of info).

2) After hearing rumors etc, a mage with the spirit healer specialization stumbles across her body and revives her.

And if it is a bit of hand-waving/retconning, what of it? It doesn't change DA:O, and if DA3 comes out, and the Warden runs into Leliana again, you just have her set to hate the Warden. Minor plot holes happen. /shrug

1). It only heals, doesn't bring back from the dead.

2.) Your characters get 'knocked out' not killed. Spirit healers aren't necromancers.

Killing Leliana was a huge factor in Origins, choosing to bump off one of YOUR OWN party members felt like a massive decision. This basically says your decision doesn't matter and Bioware reserves the right to do it again in DA3

It feels like a major decision, but think about it... is it really?

Take away the emotional context of killing a comrade. What change did it have to the story? None. Zero. Zilch.

A little hand-waving and retconning is almost required with a game with as many choices as DA. To build scenarios for every single possible choice ever made while maintaining 100% linearity in the story requires a massive amount content to be added, and that's just going to grow exponentially with each new game.

They have to have some wiggle room, or it spirals out of control, or completely precludes characters from ever appearing again.

Why on earth would you give me the option to kill her if you were just going to bring her back? Surely you could just use a Mass Effect style system where if the save has her dead she doesn't turn up. She didn't play THAT bigger part in DA2. If you were defintely sure that you were never going to use the character again, do NOT give the option to kill them unless you have such a system in place, otherwise it's just sloppy writing.

Honestly, they could have had just a generic character who looked different with the same voice, and while many people would point out "That's weird", at least it would make sense and not completely undermine a rather large decision in the first game.

It's similar but worse than them hand waving

in Awakening, but I guess since it was really hard to get him to -100 disapproval anyway, most people didn't notice.

It is quite the plothole, but at the same time, how many people actually killed Leliana at this point? I doubt a majority of people let her die here. I know I didn't on any of my many playthroughs of Origins.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Dear lord. I just thought of something. What if they decide to just throw the Suicide Mission out the window? Now I'm afraid.

Why would they? They're clearly going to add new characters to ME3, and any main characters that died in 1 stay dead in 2. Not to mention that Mass Effect 1 through 3 is Sheppard's story and has a tighter cohession, whereas DA:O was Grey Warden's story and DA2 was Hawke's story. Different situations.

My question is, why isn't Leliana still with the Warden? If you romanced her in Origins, she gives a cute little "the warden is very dear to me" line, but that only made me wonder what the hell happened even more. Why is she back with the Chantry? Why is she a damn holy assassin secret agent? Why isn't she travelling with the Hero of Ferelden? Did they break up? What the hell is going on?

With Zevran it's a bit easier to accept. If he ended up alive and on your side, he said he was going to go take care of the Antivan Crows once and for all, and he goes to do that. But Leliana? Unless you kill her, she basically sticks to you like crazy glue.

Oh, well. It was nice to see Alistair again. Just as big a dork as he ever was.

secretsantaone:

Jaded Scribe:

secretsantaone:

1). It only heals, doesn't bring back from the dead.

2.) Your characters get 'knocked out' not killed. Spirit healers aren't necromancers.

Killing Leliana was a huge factor in Origins, choosing to bump off one of YOUR OWN party members felt like a massive decision. This basically says your decision doesn't matter and Bioware reserves the right to do it again in DA3

It feels like a major decision, but think about it... is it really?

Take away the emotional context of killing a comrade. What change did it have to the story? None. Zero. Zilch.

A little hand-waving and retconning is almost required with a game with as many choices as DA. To build scenarios for every single possible choice ever made while maintaining 100% linearity in the story requires a massive amount content to be added, and that's just going to grow exponentially with each new game.

They have to have some wiggle room, or it spirals out of control, or completely precludes characters from ever appearing again.

Why on earth would you give me the option to kill her if you were just going to bring her back? Surely you could just use a Mass Effect style system where if the save has her dead she doesn't turn up. She didn't play THAT bigger part in DA2. If you were defintely sure that you were never going to use the character again, do NOT give the option to kill them unless you have such a system in place, otherwise it's just sloppy writing.

All Bioware has to do is say her death isn't canon. And because they are the writers they are perfectly entitled to do it. And no matter how mad it makes you and how much you complain, it isn't going to change.

If they are going to have an overarching plot over a series of games then not every little choice will be able to applied. It's down to the nature of the intricacy of Dragon Age: Origins. Not every little thing can be easily incorporated and not everything is going to be perfect.

Gaider's writing has been getting worse since the Kotor/Jade games, those were the telling points of his decline as a cohesive writer... He's been believing his own publicity too long, just because everyone and his dog has been saying that Bioware have the best writing. It's gotten to the point he thinks that gold flows from his pen, he's no longer objective about his prose and thinks that he can do no wrong.

He's now honestly unable to recognise just plain bad writing. Just because he is able to throw together any old justification for gaping plot holes and shoddy plot planning he thinks that he can excuse himself out of any situation, that's simply not true. What IS true is that his writing now is just plain sloppy and shoddy.

Bioware now are just a shadow of their former selves and becoming less relevant by the minute.

Ooh, how about this. It's all being narrated by Varric, so he's wrong.

There, hand-waved again. There's so many ways to dismiss this it's ridiculous(granted, DA3 will most likely prove this 100% wrong.)

The fact is we're just demanding a lot from Bioware. Getting every possibility from DAO to transfer would be crazy amounts of work. Hell, I've killed Zevran and he's in DA2.

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