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First Impressions

Discussion in 'Dragon Age: Origins' started by DarthMuffin, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    If it is only a marketing stunt then I think it's probably for the best.

    NOG actually makes a valid point about making your character different as he levels up I've only tried the character creator.

    Getting some "psychological content" would be awesome. But too many cinematic sequences can really kill the pace of the game.

    @hannibal555: from what I've read on the official site we can expect a release on the 19th in France, Germany and Poland...
     
  2. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Psychological content doesn't necessarily have anything to do with cinematics. Think about how disturbing Charwood Forest was the first time you played through it. Or, for a different type of psychologically mature content, consider a quest around a village. The village has been infected with a terrible disease that's slowly killing the population. The people are panicing. You have a few choices:
    1.) Burn the entire village to the ground, preventing the spread of this disease completely.
    2.) Quaranteen the village, in the hope that some survive the disease. There's always risk of someone or some animal escaping, though.
    3.) Go on a quest to retrieve components for a possible cure. Yes, you may be able to save all the lives (assuming it works), but the disease is almost guaranteed to spread.

    No cutscenes necessary, only a few bits of dialogue, but with real consequences (especially if you're going to be going to the surrounding villages soon) the psychological impact of the decision can be significant.
     
  3. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Given the number of cinematic sequences that have been pointed out earlier I assumed that this was the way they picked to get the psychological element across to the audience.

    That's quite true NOG although to be honest I can't believe I agree with you on something, man that must be a first! ;)
     
  4. Jack Funk Gems: 24/31
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    Greetings all. Glad to see that the game looks good. I probably will not get it until Christmas, but I am eagerly anticipating playing.
     
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  5. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Wow, the fossils are coming out for the new game . . . :p

    (Says the guy who turns 43 this month . . .)
     
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  6. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Hey, we're both human, right? We have to have some stuff in common.

    *hides his second heart*
     
  7. DarthMuffin Gems: 4/31
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    Upon checking it out, I messed up a bit with the spell part. It goes like this: when you die in combat, you remain dead until the battle's over. Then you auto-ressurect, but with a random injury (list here). if you die again, you get another random injury, and so on. To clear the injuries, you need to use an item called an "injury kit", or visit the party camp (accessible through the world map, kind of like the Ebon Hawk where you can speak to all your companions). Injury kits seem to come in 2 varieties, lesser or normal (healing a different number of injuries). Checking my bag, I have 1 normal and 4 lessers. I have to say that I'm a bit obsessive though and I generally reload when I lose someone :p So I didn't pay much attention to them yet.

    The spell I referred to is an in-combat ressurection. I don't know if it gives an injury or not, I don't have it yet. It is available to spirit healers, second tier (I think). You have to be at least level 7 to take a specialisation, and you have to find someone to teach it to you first, so you should be able to get the spell at level 9.

    About the cutscenes: I don't think there are that many of them. It's true that the first hours have a lot - from the origin to the end of the "common" prologue there's quite a few, but beyond that you get one once in a while to show some stuff that is happening around the world. Apart from that, it's quite heavy on dialogues though (if you want to read them at least).

    About psychological choices: here's a quest I ran into yesterday. I'll try to keep it spoiler free, but read at your own risk:

    There was a nasty problem in a town, which involved a demon possessing someone. I had 3 choices: 1) kill the possessed person (who was innocent, but possessed), 2) perform a ritual to kill the demon, which requires the sacrifice of another person, or 3) go and get help elsewhere, but leave the town vulnerable in the meantime. Since I'm a goody-goody chap, I chose option 3. Now, I don't know if I *really* need to hurry up, but at the risk of sounding very nerdy, that choice really made me think about the situation a bit. Of course, the companions I had with me all had an opinion and shared it. My origin (mage) also played a part in this quest.

    Additional note on companions: there's the now-mandatory influence system. Obviously, this often comes up in conversations. There are 2 things that differentiate the system from how it was in KotOR 2 and NWN2, which I find pretty neat:

    1. gifts. You'll find some items that are labelled as "gifts". They're not quest items like in NWN1's OC (in which each henchman had one quest item per act, kind of lame), they're really just random items. Now the trick is you can give any gift to anyone - but some companions like some gifts better than others. Not only is this more realistic, but it's a nice way to circumvent a bit the headache of trying to please multiple companions (which is kind of important depending on what you want your character to be like, since some companions can teach you a specialisation if they like you).
    2. companions are more than just good or evil. For example, Leliana is generally speaking a "good" henchwoman - she likes you more when you help people out of kindness and so on. But she's also the religious type, and when I gave some blessed lockets to soldiers to bolster their morale (so that they think their god protects them), she wasn't happy and I lost a chunk of influence with her.

    Finally, the game is kind of hard overall. Perhaps I'm just too rusty from not playing this sort of game in a long time, but I'm playing on normal (2nd difficulty option out of 4) and I have a couple of reloads under my belt. It's definitely not just a "click and watch" game, in many battles I have to pause often and think about my moves. BioWare warned that playing on nightmare (hardest) is suicide unless you really know your stuff, and I kind of believe them at this point.
     
  8. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Yeah, the BioWare forums are filled with people talking about the difficulty, from "I'm breezing through Hard" to "I'm getting slaughtered on Easy". The overall trend seems to be that those experienced (especially recently experienced, some talk about working out the rust from years of easy gaming) with BG and the like are finding it easier than those more used to KotOR or NWN.
     
  9. sarevok66 Gems: 9/31
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    frankly i'm quite dubious, this game feels more like NWN than BG2 :(

    dragon age, the 1st CRPG where you team up with your mother :o :o :o
     
  10. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    My first impression is a resounding 'Well done'. Nice game. Wouldn't I be so tired I'd play all night through ...
     
  11. Equester Gems: 18/31
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    the city elf origins includes a rape scene, without spoiling to much, you get a choice to ignore a girl getting beated and raped for the reward of no less then 40 silver.
     
  12. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Thanks for your comments guys, it really looks like there is more depth to that game than what I was lead to understand from browsing through the official site.

    Anyway, the game should be released in France on the 12th. I wasn't going to but I think I'll probably end up buying it since it seems quite entertaining (I don't mind the difficulty) and they've just released a toolset.
     
  13. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    Game is fantastic so far, and runs like liquid on max settings for me. Well done, Bioware.
     
  14. Deathmage

    Deathmage Arrr! Veteran

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    So - is it true that the game features a lot of DLC? Here's a complaint by Penny-Arcade (read the accompanying news post) http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/6/

    If so, that significantly ups the smelliness of the game.
     
  15. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    The fact that the game hasn't been out worldwide (the box version at least) but that they've already released a DLC tends to prove that they want to make some dough with those DLCs (I'm not blaming them for that, if they don't make money they can't make more games that's pretty straightforward).

    Of course no one is forced to get the extra content to play the vanilla game. How much difference does a few goodies make?

    I prefer regular add ons like Sword of the Sword Coast or Throne of Bhaal because all this DLC stuff only emphasizes the point that companies are after a quick buck: pay more and you'll get more content. If the content is worth it that's just good business but if it's not then it's just milking the cow.

    If the added content is a quest and a few goodies then you have to wonder what is the point of getting a DLC.

    Since they've released a toolset, it would seem that there's going to be some user made content pretty soon. Never underestimate what modders can put together (Fallout 3 is a perfect example of a game that got much better thanks to mods).
     
  16. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    So far, I only know of two big ones, though they both seem like mini-expansion-packs to me. One adds Shale, the Golem joinable NPC, with his (it's?) whole quest line and plot. The other is The Warden's Keep, which adds a dungeon, which also adds a new Talent for every class (base class only, it looks like).
     
  17. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    A few more things to add...

    Like NWN2 you should talk to your companions often; to find out their back story and to gain/loose influence with that specific companion.

    As for the gifts; there are gifts that are for specific companions and if you talk to your companions they will tell you what they like and dislike. Also, the more gifts you give the lower the influence gain will be for future gifts.

    As for the specialization; you have to have the companion view you as a leader or you are unable to learn the specialization that a companion has - I found this out the hard way.

    I restarted the game from the beginning on Saturday and played out the Origin story. Yesterday I dived into the game for 12 hours straight. The game story is that good. I only stopped playing because I decided to take on a dragon at level 10, which was STUPID of me. Of course I didn't know that the NPC was a dragon when I decide to fight. I lost about 2 hours compared to my last save. My last save was literally after I completed the story DarthMuffin listed above. So, I stopped playing and put the controller away.

    As for graphical content; it is better or equal to NWN2. It all depends on what you are looking at. Most of the characters look better in DAO; however, some of the background looks better in NWN2. It all depends on what you are looking at. Of course I could not full turn up the graphics on NWN2. Also, I am comparing my PS3 to the computer. I heard DAO graphics are awesome if you have a 9800 GTX or higher video card. As for glitches, I have experienced only 2 minor glitches in over 15 hours of game time.

    As far as the world back story; there is a ton of documents available to you throughout the game and information provided to you by NPC. If you spend time and read the document and listen to all the stories you will learn quite a bit about the world, the monsters, the NPCs, etc... Very interesting aspect of the game.

    The game also keep track of all the conversations you have; this helps determine NPC actions/re-actions based on your selections of dialogue.

    As for the party AI; the way this is implemented is awesome. You add specific commands/tatics as the character levels up. The tatic is activated based on specific things occurring such as use this ability if enemy is at 50% health, etc... Besides the NPC and PC default setting there are other settings you can use and customize.

    There is only one camera angle for consoles. I highly recommend the PC.

    As for the DLC and cost. ThinK about it this way; most people spend $7-10 for about 2 hours of entertainment at the movies with no reviewing of the movie later at your disposal; however, the current added content cost $7 for the PC and PS3 and it is available for all of the play throughs on dragon age origins. Not a bad payoff. Also, if you purchase the game new you get two free DLC to use. If you purchase the SE you get also get the $7 DLC with the purchase.

    I give the game 5 stars as this is the best RPG I have played since the BG series.

    One more thing before I go. My wife isn't all the keen on RPG games; however, she has sat down with me and watched the games mutiple moves and even had a few laughs. Yesterday after she came home from shopping she asked me if I completed the quest that DarthMuffin mentioned. I told her I did and was working on X. She asked how I did it and well I will leave it to that. I find it funny that my wife actually was paying attention and she is now considering starting her own character. With that said, I'm pushing for the game now to be purchased on the PC. This way we both can play our own character without interupting the other person's game.
     
  18. DarthMuffin Gems: 4/31
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    I got into that mess too. That was definitely a nice surprise, kind of like Firkraag in BG2.

    As for the DLC, there's actually only one "real" DLC out at the moment, The Warden's Keep, which sells for $7.

    The other DLC called "The Stone Prisoner" is free when you buy the game new (basically there's a code to download it for free in each new game). It's the same for the special armour. That's pretty much just to move more new copies of the game.

    What is a bit annoying is that they put an NPC in-game (in your party camp of all places) to advertise (indirectly) Warden's Keep.
     
  19. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I'm not sure if anyone has played enough to know but what's the story with swapping party members? Are you intended to keep to more or less the same set all the way through (like BG) or to swap them in and out (like KOTOR)?
     
  20. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Now that is just bad. :shake:
     
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