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Dragon Age
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Poo Bear
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Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Dragon Age Reply with quote

I'm playing through on the PC and I'm enjoying it, but I keep wondering if I'm in an MMO. The game is menu heavy, there are the usual spell book, inventory, avatar doll, world map, codex, etc. It also has an action hotbar to park your spells, you play 3rd person and a spell cools down before it can be used again. Combat involves choosing a selection of targeted or area affect spell 'hot icons' and parking them on your quick bar so you can spam them in quick succession. There are regular monster encounters and they follow a familiar process: long range most powerful area effect spell at a distance so as not to hurt your party, then a repetition of quick lower level attacks with periodic healing potion as necessary.

It REALLY feels like playing an MMO to me.

Where it stops feeling like an MMO is when the open world 'wander anywhere' system is pushed aside when a quest kicks in. These have the alarming habit of locking you in to a fairly linear set missions (sometimes in a confined space you cannot leave) where its quite possible to get stuck. Usually because you shouldn't have done that mission without a bit more gear and levelling up. I have a habitual weakness of not making regular saves so its easy to get locked in. Luckily, so far, I've been able to spam my way through, repeating tough encounters ad-nauseum until the hands of fate spin the dice just right.

The game really gives me information overload, there is detailed back story and descriptive text ON EVERYTHING. I don't think it really fits my '30mins at lunch' play style, its just too much to take in.

It sounds like I'm being harsh, but I'm not, this is a good game and I'm enjoying it, but I just feel like it aught to be better.

As with Mass Effect their press team is making a big deal of the fact you can woo the female members of your team. I'm embarrassed to admit I am interested in the evil Morrigan, a very sexy nature witch who has a dangerously wild attitude. Leliana is less interesting as she has a fairly clichéd cute and innocent style character (yawn).
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Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team

Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not stick to the original D&D formula, different character classes are heavily restricted in the range of spells they know, you have to pick which ones you want 'ready' first thing in the morning. These limits allow an 'all guns blazing' approach now and again if necessary, but favour saving your spells and relying on conversation, planning, stealth, brute force.

I'm bored with the predictable -> learn the best damage per second spell sequence, spam it through every encounter, stay in one area until you go up level, get one or two new spells that just have better stat versions of existing spells, go to new harder area, repeat.

I liked the system in Runequest (might have the name wrong there it was years ago), where you could save up special experience points and then occasionally elect to do something crazily heroic (using the special xp points to make it more achievable) that would be legendary (kill a dragon with a dagor, talk a genie back into its bottle, etc). When things went wrong you took an appropriate permanent injury or permanently killed a party member. I remember hanging onto characters that had one arm, one leg, eye patch, contagious skin diseases, toes missing, etc (and matching stat/equipment reductions). The result wasn't just to make things harder, but to encourage new and different approaches to problems and make players think before rushing in.
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