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

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Slycne:

SuperChurl:
Will BioWare commit to that level of depth? If the currently discussed situation is any indicator, prooooobably not. Easy way out that preserves writers' beloved characters for the winnnnn!

Wait how has it been indicator that they are not trying to achieve that? Gaider flat out said that if you made the choice of killing her that it still happened.

Sorry, but to me the unexplained cameos of previously-thought-deceased Leliana and Zevran just smacked more of lazy writing than of a desire to set up a further narrative. I think if BioWare had an explanation for their appearance they would have given it in-game--though, granted, there wouldn't be much of a canonical reason to explain their survival/resurrection to a bunch of strangers...

Much as I love BioWare I'm pretty reluctant to expect too much from their cross-game continuity at this point. It's impressive that they're trying it, but--as hard as it must be to write and program--the results thus far haven't exactly been inspiring. All but the absolute biggest decisions from the first Mass Effect were resolved in the second with "thanks for completing that side quest!" emails.

I mean, yeah, it's totally possible that BioWare is coming up with an actual plot to revive our potentially deceased party members beyond an irate forum handwave--and considering how much they seem willing to change their games based on their fans' reactions that doesn't seem like too unlikely. But I ain't holdin' my breath just yet.

Maybe in Dragon Age 3 they'll tell us that person wasn't Leliana, but in fact Zombie-Leliana (!). Someone glued her head / cloned her /reincarnated and, again, this whole thing has something to do with the witch of the wilds (somehow). And she's pregnant (!).

Jaded Scribe:
BioWare doesn't have that much money. They've been laying off people for months.

They're spending $300 million on TOR. But mmaking choices relevant and real doesn't cost money, it just requires havong compotent writers.

I like having choices being made available to me, even if some get retconned.

Why?

They are relevant in the immediate story, and I (and many others) would rather have those choices available in the game for the sake of that chapter of the story and see it get retconned than "Oh, we might decide to continue the franchise at a later date, we better make it a linear adventure game to guarantee we don't change anything in the story that might get someone's panties in a knot."

Or they could juist write the sequel not to overwrite wnybodies choices? There's no reason for the charaqcters in DA1 to recur in DA2.

Again, you all say "oh, just add in a new Chantry Seeker". Fine. But how do you justify changing the entirety of DA3's prospective plot to accomodate those that chose the Ultimate Sacrifice?

It would make it a good game series? I would have thought that would be justification enough.

Sorry, but one of the things I am looking forward to MOST about DA3 is continuing my Warden's story. Why should I, and those like me, have to suffer because you can't wrap your head around the idea of canon retconning?

But you won't be continueing your warden's story, that's the point, you'll be continueing Gaider's story with nothing but the thin illusion that you as a player are having any real impact on anything. The only thing that made Dragon Age: Origins any good was the few choices you made felt like they had real impact, if they remove that then it just becomes another shitty linear hack-and-slash game with nothing that makes the game different or interesting in any way.

Jaded Scribe:

BioWare doesn't have that much money. They've been laying off people for months.

Also, it seems those that cry about perfect continuity (at least among people I know) are in the minority.

I like having choices being made available to me, even if some get retconned.

They are relevant in the immediate story, and I (and many others) would rather have those choices available in the game for the sake of that chapter of the story and see it get retconned than "Oh, we might decide to continue the franchise at a later date, we better make it a linear adventure game to guarantee we don't change anything in the story that might get someone's panties in a knot."

Again, you all say "oh, just add in a new Chantry Seeker". Fine. But how do you justify changing the entirety of DA3's prospective plot to accomodate those that chose the Ultimate Sacrifice? Your Orlesian Warden in Awakenings didn't do enough to warrant the search for them to help put the world back together. Should they just nix the Warden altogether and never finish that story, or allow the Warden to join in the rest of the story to keep the literalist fanboys happy?

Sorry, but one of the things I am looking forward to MOST about DA3 is continuing my Warden's story. Why should I, and those like me, have to suffer because you can't wrap your head around the idea of canon retconning?

I don't expect Bioware to accomodate all of the choices they have put in the game, because there are dozens of them with tons of different outcomes. However that is why we shouldn't be able to make these choices in the first place. Don't give players the illusion of having an impact when your just going to ignore their choices. That defeats the purpose of having them. It's better for them to simply not be there than to let people think they will have an impact.

If Bioware had less major choices they could actually ensure that they all have meaningful impact. As it stands now they have to give all of them almost no impact or they ignore them completley. In this case we need quality over quantity. I don't want a dozen pointless choices that will have no impact. I'd rather have a handful of significant ones.

When one of your selling points is that the player's choices will have weight in the story, so many choices not doing so is a pretty big issue.

As mentioned, this is fantasy..

In real life, if someone sticks you with a sharp object to the point where you fall unconscious from blood loss and/or organ damage, that's probably it. You probably aren't going to acquire a magical Wolverine-esque mutant healing ability which allows your flesh to knit together in time to stop you bleeding to death.

In fantasy games this happens all the time. Heck, it's written into gameplay. Dragon Age: Origins was one of the few RPGs to acknowledge any kind of lasting damage from being knocked unconscious by being repeatedly hit with swords, and even then you can merrily keep fighting with a broken arm, heavy bleeding and a gouged eye anyway and a simple healing kit will make it all better..

Given this, you don't think it's remotely possible that Leliana might recover from having been mortally wounded by the Warden. You don't think it's kind of a cool thing to at least imagine her coming back to seek revenge, and yes, while the game doesn't keep track of whether she died it does keep track of whether you defiled the ashes. If Wynne could work it out just by listening to the other party members, I'm not sure a simple persuade check is going to stop a professional spy from ultimately finding out what you did.

Not to mention that you 'killed' Leliana, quite a devout person, in one of the holiest places in Thedas, a place full of exactly the kind of good spirits who really get off on faith and piety and all those human virtues.

People complaining about characters who they thought they had killed coming back in a story told by a less than honest dwarf, where (in the same story) your character's mother is decapitated and her head attached to a Frankenstein's Monster but the head retains life for a while.

You people are really digging aren't you?

Pretending to be dead...

Bioware, I'm disappointed.

This could be a DA2 spoiler. Saying she turns up.

Anders still turns up if he dies in awakening but he has a nice excuse. And that is not a spoiler.

Leliana is like the liquid-titanium terminator in T2. She merely had to wait a few moments before reassembly. simple.

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

I know. I'm usually good at spotting plot holes but this is a huge one. Maybe because I never fucked with the ashes is why I didn't notice.

Like I said before they only really revived one character and that was because a very small amount of players chose to kill them and it wouldn't be too unbelievable to revive them.

While I don't like that they had to pull the revival card it was necessary and the real problem I reckon is they didn't really have any proper dialog from that character in the second game to make it seem as if the choice actually happened.

Also technically Anders can die in an epilogue but if you play DA 2 there is an excuse for that.

A lot of you are making a big deal about just one revival, it's irritating but it happened and it's not that big of a deal, I doubt it'll happen again.

Shadowkire:
People complaining about characters who they thought they had killed coming back in a story told by a less than honest dwarf, where (in the same story) your character's mother is decapitated and her head attached to a Frankenstein's Monster but the head retains life for a while.

You people are really digging aren't you?

She returns at the end past the 'post-Varric' narrative section.

People are complaining about Bioware doing a sub-par job on the follow up to one of the best games of the last decade.

THis problem feels like nitpicking. Her death obviously wasent cannon. It didnt affect the main story in any major way. Such a retcon wouldnt happen in mass effect anyway. Mass effect 2 was all about keeping your team alive where as keeping allies alive was a side quest in dragons age.

With the way Bioware handled the death of Shepard in the ME2 opening, I really wouldn't put it past them to fill the hole with some form of magic shenanigans in a DLC or DA3. Only played a bit of DA1 and only the demo of DA2, but that's my take on it unless I am missing some form of sorcery that was used to keep the dead DEAD in fantasy land.

so in aworld of magic its impossible that a person could be revived? i mean that has never happened in fantasy before. HOW DARE THEY!!!!!

I'm totally fine with this as long as Anders and Fenris stay dead and never return to bug me again.

Zakarath:
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.)

How? Contractions are signified by an apostrophe. It's means it is. Don't means do not.

In what way does "Its better to..." make grammatical sense?

Death is more of a revolving door.

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

I'm noticing a lot of spoilers around these days.

I remember a time when spoiler tags were used to hide spoilers rather than images or YouTube clips.

considering how little a save import affects DA2 as it is, its really strange that they would even implement savegame importing if this is their philosophy. its not a matter of 'little inconsistencies'; why would they bother with importing if they dont bloody IMPORT things?! its lazy writing, no question about it. they could have gone the KOTOR route and you just select basic histories, or just kept it all ambiguous seeing as the only connections to origins are contrived side-material. as they bothered to import details, bioware either wants to make player choice important (or at least not directly contradict it) or their writers are insane and want to implement 2 mutually exclusive continuities at the same time for their sequels.

conrad verner always being renegade was a mistake; and also a bug. leliana resurrecting herself with no explanation INTENTIONALLY implemented into the game is just laziness.

either call it a retcon or a mistake; dont act like some amateur fanfic writer responding to comments that his story makes no sense. the "its my story, i can do whatever i want" approach isnt working.

I think it's a bigger plothole that leliana was using daggers when she's so obviously a ranged Bard.Zomg!

If you've ever heard of the Joker, this kind of thing is probably no surprise, but if they were going to spare a character, couldn't thay have had a cutscene in which that person runs away and the Warden and/or Champion says "Leave them, we have more important matters to deal with!" as opposed to "I set them on fire and their head came off, that oughta keep them down for a bit."

Come to think of it, how often were party members beaten to death only to get up offering only silly comments to the reaper? "Nothing like a brush with death to make you... not like death much."

If you screw up the drama of someone dying, would the game ever feel exiting or dangerous again?

Poor move, Bioware. Poor move.

Their games, their universes. They can do whatever the fuck they like.

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?

Recapitation is just one of Leliana's awesome powers. Along with musical hypnosis, exploding scatter arrows and seducing cute young elven girls.

Shadowkire:
Summary of thread:
"I killed Leliana but she showed up in the sequel!/cry. Why doesn't Bioware bend over backwards to make everything I do matter?/crymore"

And the people saying the Mass Effect saga is better because it doesn't declare what is canon are not thinking it through. Dieing in ME2 is a direct effect of your choices, and a pretty big effect. Yet by the very existence of a third game with the same character all your important choices are rendered void.

And was killing either Zevran or Leliana really that important? One is a crow assassin, if he didn't have a name there would be no difference between him or the HUNDREDS of other crows I killed. So who the f*** cares if he shows up and gives me a quest, think of him as some other rogue assassin. And then there is Leliana, a retired spy... yeah killing her is sooooo important and therefore should never appear again.

When this happens in the next DA or ME game, read/imagine the characters' names backwards and envision my middle finger where their faces are and you won't be so butt-hurt about it.(probably not though)

Bioware has said (And it's stated in a loading screen in-game) that if Shep dies at the end of ME2, ME3 won't accept that import save and you'll have to make a new Shepard. Have you even played the game?

And yeah, Leliana and Zevran were pretty important, they weren't just random people you met in sidequests who showed up once. They were (Or at least had the potential to be) your party memebers during the game. If I don't recruit Leliana, or kill Zevran when I first meet him, they shouldn't show up in the second game like they joined my group anyway. It's just lazy and Gaider's being completely unprofessional about it.

Oh, and your pretentious tone is more than a little frustrating.

Zakarath:
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.)

You need an apostrophe in "its". :)

OT: I'm just wondering why she was brought back in DA2. I haven't played it yet, want to though.

Even if there are ridiculous plot holes.

Why would anyone want to decapitate Leliana ?
D:

Decapitation? Pfft, it's just a fleshwound.

It does look like a retcon.
Then again, it's a fantasy world. I've been dead four times already during my Dungeons & Dragons campaign. I got better, met a few gods on the trip.
She could have been brought back by a powerful healer (a wizard did it!), a spirit (like Anders was), or even a demon.

Leliana has an identical twin. Duh!

It's their story. Their right to alter it as they see fit.
I'm not saying it's not a bit clunkily executed, but I won't scream foul just because they wanted to take the story in a different direction.

Zakarath:
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.)

Typing in all caps and saying "I'm right and you are wrong" does not make it so. Apostrophe needed. :P

OT: sounds like the writer have heard of a Raise Dead spell.

BioWare is concerning me more and more lately. It's like they are all high on their own fucking ego and tell their fanbase they are wrong and they are right.

Seriously, Mass Effect III will probably be the last guy I buy from them unless they get their act together. At least we still have TES V: Skyrim.

Straying Bullet:
BioWare is concerning me more and more lately. It's like they are all high on their own fucking ego and tell their fanbase they are wrong and they are right.

As opposed to the fanbase, reeking of self-entitlement and calling them out on every single creative decision they make?

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