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Inquisition Thoughts

Discussion in 'Dragon Age: Inquisition' started by Paracelsi, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Surprised no one else has made a thread about this so far. I'm playing Inquisition on the PS4 atm, and so far the game is amazing.

    First off, specs: don't play this game on a machine that can't handle above average settings. Besides the nice graphics and (more importantly) above average graphics/animation style and great ambiance, the game is a MASSIVE resource hog. To the point that even a PS4 begins to show signs of strain after a few hours of gaming.
    I was originally going to buy the PC version but thankfully decided to switch to the console version at the last minute.

    Second, gameplay: brilliant. MUCH better tactically than DA2's, even with the console version. You'll need to become better acquainted with the new system, but basically there's two flavors: there's hardcore tactical, which allows you to play out the action frame-by-frame (tactics lovers will love this and it does help a lot if you like challenging fights) and there's light tactical, which is more or less just opening a radial menu and selecting "attack who I attack", "stop whatever you're doing and follow me" or "hold position".
    Finally instead of the complicated "If someone uses X, then use Y" strategies/tactics we had to sort out in DA:O/DA:2, in DA:I we simply have a priority system. There are three values: preferred (character will use this whenever possible), enabled (character will randomly use any of these) and disabled (character will never use this ability - you usually assign this to "limit breaks" or combo skills).
    Yes, DA:I has limit breaks, which you get later in the game. The game calls them "focus skills" but I know Omnislash-level abilities that you have to power up and which you usually save for tough fights or emergencies when I see them.

    Third, story and single player: not bad to pretty good.
    NPC-wise you won't find anyone on the scale of Alistair/Morrigan in DA:O (except perhaps Cole) but the DA:I companions are diverse and interesting. You get the most mileage out of them by bringing them along - they don't have as many personal dialogues as say the ones BG2 or DA:O, but they have a LOT of banter and you learn a lot more about them (motivations, history, etc) this way.
    Storyline-wise the game splits quests into overland (I call this storyline quests) and area quests/side quests. Storyline quests require you to make (usually important) game decisions and doesn't require you to actually do anything else to resolve them - you basically just send out one of your three advisers (depending on who you agree with) and wait a few minutes to a day waiting for the adviser to return with the rewards. These decisions are made in the "war room". Area/sidequests are usually straightforward and linear. Occasionally you'll be forced to make important decisions, but for the most part these are the fetch/kill/explore/whatever else-type quests.

    Fourth, bugs. There are still a few, but the good news is that it seems the game is constantly getting patches for them. I personally have not encountered any gamebreaking ones so far, and the game auto-saves frequently and keeps track 2 separate auto-saves.
    The most serious bugs atm I think are the exploits, but you can just avoid those.

    Fifth, balance and difficulty. The fights are brutal and I love it. As long as you don't use exploits anything above normal difficulty should appeal to people looking for a challenge. x2 if you turn friendly fire on. The main thing though is that combat is designed with a head-on or closed confrontation in mind - it's OK to kite things if you do it within a closed/limited area, but at larger distances the AI fails to the point that you can easily solo a lot of stuff regardless of difficulty. Avoid that. Difficulty scaling is also better compared to DA:2, where switching to nightmare basically just gave mobs immunities. Players not too interested in the combat aspect should be just fine playing normal/no friendly fire.
    Balance-wise there are several issues. In particular, combining Arcane Warrior with Spirit Healer into one specialization in a game with limited healing potions (shared by the party - battles require a bit more thought now) and no natural healing spells was definitely a bad decision. A few specializations are also underperforming.

    Finally, the game is a massive time sink. This is especially true if you like crafting (the game has an extensive crafting system) and if you don't manage storyline and area/sidequests well. You do NOT want to keep returning to the war room because you only sent out your advisers to do 10 minutes quests while also doing quests in/exploring a new area.
     
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    So what I got from your impressions is this: Poor balance, bad AI, dumbed down scripting capabilities, poorly optimized, lots of bugs, no particularly memorable NPCs, very basic questing, potentially challenging for the average Joe, and emphasizes breadth over depth.

    Somehow I fail to see where the "amazing" part comes in.

    Anyway, here's what Yahtzee thought of it.
     
  3. 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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    So Yahtzee was quite taken with it, eh?

    Never played the second one. Doubt I will play this one.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I'd say Yahtzee's opinion boils down to "not bad in spite of all its flaws", which I suppose is fairly high praise coming from him.
     
  5. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I mentioned balance between specializations because I was being objective, in the end it may not affect how much you enjoy the game. Consider BG2 classes/kits. Because this game has to live up to some high standards though we should expect better specialization balancing in the future, and based on forum posts the devs are listening.

    Dumbed down scripting works because of the previously mentioned lack of traditional healing spells/limited and shared healing potions for the party restrictions. I very much prefer it over the original DA scripts which had the potential to backfire in some way. This is an important step forward - overall this change forces you to be more actively involved with combat and think more carefully about how you proceed. No more relying on the AI to use a particular skill on a particular type of enemy, only to have it backfire when that enemy type spawns in the rear of a large darkspawn group, for example, forcing the NPC to do a suicide run.
    TLDR; dumbed down scripts = smarter input from players.

    I don't know where you got "poorly optimized", "lots of bugs", "no particularly memorable NPCs" and "very basic questing". Poorly optimized is debatable - the game is huge, very easily on the scale of Skyrim, and is considerably more complex. Issues are to be expected. But as I said before I have personally not encountered any gamebreaking bugs, and I have encountered only a "few" bugs in general. I don't know where you read "lots".
    "No particularly memorable NPCs". This is partly because of how the game is set up, and the fact that a lot of the people you'll be working with are characters from the previous games. Alistair, Morrigan, Leliana, Hawke, Stroud, etc. all make a return, some staying as advisers, companions, quest NPCs, etc. In the end few game-original NPCs stand out in particular, but saying none of them are particularly memorable is a stretch.
    "Very basic questing". I don't know where you got this, because I just told you questing was anything but. What I did say was that storyline quests were a lot simpler, and it's a good thing they are. Are you honestly still not tired of running around doing non-combat talk/fetch quests for random NPCs? The game makes it easy for you by handling these type of quests while you go about completing side/area quests, which generally require you to explore and fight something. I personally think it's a good change.
    "Potentially challenging for the average Joe". The type of gaming I do (at least after I beat a game normally several times) involves trying to solo the original BG at highest difficulty, soloing BG2 without using the rest button, soloing HoW/HoF fury modes in IWD/2, etc. So when someone like me says fights are brutal, they probably are to some types of people, hopefully including the "average" Joe, assuming you don't turn down the difficulty setting.
    "Breadth over depth". It remains to be seen if this is actually the case, but I would have to say no. IMO there are too many lore entries/little quirks/random banters/songs/easter eggs for that to be true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  6. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    By that logic, the game should have no scripting to prioritize player input. :rolleyes:

    I have never ever encountered a situation where the old system worked against me. It's only sensible to watch your party members so that they don't run into the largest group of mobs. It's a game after all, not a movie.

    There's nothing debatable about it. Either it is or it isn't, and according to you and most everyone else, it abuses the hardware quite a bit, not to mention the long loading times.

    A few bugs encountered by one player means a lot of bugs in general, no matter how thorough your playthrough was.

    You said none are on the scale of Alistair or Morrigan. Granted, that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be memorable, but since neither Alistair nor Morrigan were all that memorable for me, I don't expect the new ones to be any better.

    You said the important story quests don't require you to do anything because the game deals with them on its own, whereas side quests boil down to "fetch/kill/explore/whatever else-type quests". Maybe "whatever else" encompasses something more interesting than the standard "fetch/kill/explore" quests. It could be just poor wording on your part, but I'd rather be doing important work and let NPCs handle the side quests if I had to choose between the two. Or perhaps those two categories are besides the actual main story quests.

    I know nothing of you or how efficiently you've executed this playthrough. Generally, it's safe to assume that everyone who isn't me is average. D&D games don't even fall into the category of "challenging" unless you intentionally cripple yourself.
     
  7. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    But with too much faffing about.

    Btw Paracelsi, if the game is a massive resource hog such that the PS4 is straining, but only after a couple of hours, that sounds to me like memory leaks. Remember in DA:O where you had to restart the game every two hours or so so that it wouldn't slow to a halt because it started using up all the memory space?

    How is the level scaling as compared to DA:O? I never played DA2, so I don't know how your comparison stacks up, but in DA:O it made the fights pretty samey and tedious. You got more skills but the fights stayed more or less the same difficulty throughout the game, and against the same enemy types as well.
     
  8. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @Kenneth
    Judging from your posts, for someone who has never actually played the game you seem to have already formed some fairly strong opinions about it. I wouldn't mind it so much if you weren't also critiquing my playthrough as if you were some sort of gaming guru.
    I would suggest just simply expressing your own opinions instead of trying to cheapen or mine, for whatever reason. I see no point in discussing the validity of subjective viewpoints, and wherever that leads, here.

    Once an adviser returns from a storyline quest it is sometimes possible to follow up with an area quest. These are indeed usually main story-related, and are more complex compared to the typical sidequest.
    Similarly, although the "war room" quests often involve issues like promoting diplomatic ties with friendly organizations or trying to find out more about notable individuals (whether through a spy network, diplomatic parties/connections or posting "Have you seen this man?" pictures in all major cities - each adviser will offer alternatives) some quests are simpler and usually repeatable. Later on, for example, you can order your advisers to assemble a force of herbalists to collect Elfroot herbs for you, so you don't have to run around Thedas trying to gather them one at a time yourself.

    It's similar to that. The longer you play, the more things start to become less stable. Restarting the game fixes it, and I know several of the more recent patches are memory-leak related.
    The game is MASSIVE though, so there's that to consider. As I said it's on the scale of Skyrim, in the sense that unlike DA:O it would be daunting to have to memorize or even categorize/file away every nook and cranny of this game. Back when I played DA:O at some point I had a working memory of just about where every notable item was stored/hidden/sold/carried, where all the notable quests were, how to get the most rewards/gain out of anything and I could visualize all the major maps (and most of the minor ones) easily. I don't think it's possible to do that for this game without months of constant playthroughs.

    Each major map has both mobs that scale with your level and mobs that don't. There are a lot of mobs that scale with your level (you will meet groups of these periodically, but many are optional/avoidable - most seem to function as random encounters) and these usually spawn as a result of world events or something related to a quest you are doing in the area. The majority of monsters you'll be fighting though (the ones you need to finish most sidequests and main quests) are level-locked, and the game tells you what the recommended character levels are for different zones.
    Each zone also has critters (typically weak natural fauna like mountain rams, nugs, "druffalos", strange hippo-like creatures, hallas, etc.) and most have a particularly powerful level-locked creature that act like an area boss (dragons, etc).
    That pretty much means you won't be able to complete clear each zone before moving on to a new one.

    One balance-related problem I've had so far is that it's possible to keep exploring areas/doing sidequests to the point that you start to out-level other zones. Not particularly serious, but it reflects how the game doesn't seem to have a time limit for anything outside of RP-related urgency.
    Similarly it's possible for a low level party to attempt a high level zone. Not recommended, but still an interesting experience.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  9. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I will say that I also have some pretty strong opinions on Bioware games of the past few years. In that it seems that Bioware gets some aspects quite well, mainly NPC interaction, and others not so much. Cooky-cutter story, but mostly it just seems that they seem to fail in having fun gameplay. All in my opinion, of course.

    To be fair, I could do this with Morrowind. I think I still know where most of the best items can be found, even after not touching the game for many years now.

    Then it seems that at least they toned down the level scaling from DA:O. Good news.

    Not that I think I'll ever play the game, not after the let-down of DA:O gameplay, the frankly embarrassing copy-pasted maps in DA2, and definitely not as long as origin comes attached with it.

    But still it's interesting to read your experiences with the game ;)
     
  10. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    True, but the thing about DA:I is that areas are also saturated with content (banters, puzzles, easter eggs, lore, sidequests, etc). It is still very much content-driven, and I doubt you'd enjoy this game as much if you wanted a more open world/free exploration experience like the Elder Scrolls games. Not a lot of reward for just running around exploring and you'll end up having to re-read a lot of stuff from your journal.
    On the other hand, accepting or trying to acquire and finish every sidequest in the region can also backfire. It has actually been brought up over at the EA forums that the game seems to have too many sidequests. It might be better to be more selective about which sidequests you decide to take in DA:I, since completing them all is too time consuming unless you're only interested in one playthough. You can reach level 20-21 (soft cap, apparently there's no level cap but enemies you fight max out at ~20) doing only a fraction of them so you're mostly interested in sidequests for the various rewards/story purposes/companion approval. I personally did as many as I could before stopping when I realized I was starting to outlevel other zones.
    One other thing, most of the loot is randomized. It's a lot like Icewind Dale that way.

    Origin is not required afaik. There's an option to turn off automatic login on the console and the game runs fine without constant internet connection. It's mostly there for patches and for Dragon Age keep I think, which allows you to customize your world background. There's an online multiplayer option but I haven't tried it and I'm not too interested.
    Anyway If you have characters from the previous two Dragon Age games, Dragon Age keep lets set up your DA:I character's world based on the decisions you made during the previous games. So if your Alistair dies in DA:O, he stays dead in DA:I.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
  11. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Started to play again, and still in the hinterlands.

    I play on an above average PC. All eye candy at max. During launch thousands of PC players were not able to play due to technical problems. I have never seen so many complaints on a forum as with Dragon Age Inq. Hundreds of pages. It was still in Beta but launched before black Friday. Now after several patches the game runs fine, not perfect.

    For me it plays like an MMORPG. The same semi brainless combat, almost the same hud. The menus are made for console. the controls are made for consoles. The gameplay is made for consoles.

    Tactical cam? What tactical cam. It does not play like Dragon age Origins.

    It keeps you busy, it does not really surprises you, just the same fodder made a bit more pretty.

    Not even close to the BG brilliance.

    Why do the sites like Metacritic rate this game high? Seen the ads on their sites? And it is a console game, reviewed by a much younger generation.
     
  12. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't know about "semi brainless" combat because at higher difficulties the game can be very unforgiving unless you use exploits. At higher difficulties the game incorporates "innovations" from DA:2's nightmare mode like elemental immunities. The default difficulty may seem too easy, but I too found the default difficulty unchallenging. In about 90% of the first week DA:I playthroughs I saw in youtube, though, people were actually struggling with the game.
    Can't really blame BW for setting "baseline" specs for the majority.
    You do max out about just a little over halfway into the game though so there actually is a very serious problem with late game character level progression. The game loses much of its appeal at that point.

    If you missed the tactical camera mode tutorial, you can check your hotkey settings for it. I also think there might be a more comprehensive help menu function for the pc version. You need tactical cam for stuff like dragon fights, otherwise targetting alone will drive you nuts.

    It doesn`t play like any MMO I know, and I played Battlefields, WoW, Final Fantasy, Neverwinter, etc. It does play a lot like an action game, which I suppose people generally associate with consoles. For the most part normal view is that way, and you`ll be spending a lot of time in normal view as you go around exploring. The PS3 HUD is definitely console action game standard, reminiscent of games like Sacred 2. Overall the game does resemble DA:2 a lot more than it resembles DA:O.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  13. olimikrig

    olimikrig Cavalier of War Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I think he means to say that the tactical camera is terrible. Which it is... Especially indoors.
     
  14. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Been playing it for all of 45 minutes now and it already gets 10/10 for letting warriors use Scorpion from Mortal Kombat's "GET OVER HERE!" spear throwing move.

    The fact that there are more original areas in the first few scenes than in all of DA2 doesn't hurt either.
     
  15. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It looks great. With all the eye candy maxed out. the waves are pretty good.
     
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    DAI makes up for every major flaw of DAII, almost excessively. It's like they wanted to apologize for giving you only the areas in DAII they intended for the first five minutes of the game and so they gave you more freedom to explore than some elder scrolls games.

    Combat is somewhat more complicated than in the previous title, but where it shines is the ease in which you can tailor the difficulty to your level of skill, merely by exploring areas above or below your level.

    My only issue is that they utterly killed magic. Say goodbye to every school of it. Now you get the choice between fire, lightening, ice, and a generic "spirit" class of spells. I now have less of a desire to play a mage than I ever have.
     
  17. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    Sounds like a game that will have to wait until I get a new PC.
     
  18. Merlanni

    Merlanni ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    MMM.... on A steam sale. Past the eye candy..... 75\100.
     
  19. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    I played the game with the most recent patches. The game is not all that buggy. Playing on Nightmare the game was a good challenge until you get one of the 3 specialization as that increase the player's survivability.

    I loved the game but it took a while for me to get into it due to the Winterland and me trying to be a completeist. After I figured out I could go back, it got interesting and the game progression became, wonderful.

    DAI reminded me a lot of DAO for parts of the story and party interaction and banter. Combat was close to DAII as it was more fast pace, but in Nigthmare mod, on PS4 at least, pausing and using the tactical view is needed 100% from my experience; similar to what I experience with DAO.

    Bioware did a really good job tieing in our choices from the DA Dragon Keep and from what I can tell, there will be a forth installment.

    Out of 5 stars it gets 4 3/4 starts from me. The only downer for me was needing to go out farming for crafting items. I liked DAII implementation but DAI felt more like a MMO vs. a sole player game in that aspect.
     
  20. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    Considering the (mind blowing) ending that came straight out of nowhere, it would be a crime not to make another installment.
     
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