Skyrim inspiring Dragon Age 3

Dragon Age 3 will take some lessons from Skyrim's open world approach, though BioWare is keeping vague on how it will combine the disparate elements.

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Dragon Age 3 still hasn't been officially announced, but that hasn't stopped BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka from talking about the game. In a recent interview, Muzyka says the next Dragon Age installment will take notes from other popular RPGs, particularly The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.

"[The next Dragon Age] is gonna have the best features from the prior Dragon Age games, but it's also gonna have a lot of things I think players are gonna find compelling from some of the games that are out now that are doing really well with more of an open world feel."

"We're checking [Skyrim] out aggressively," Muzyka told Wired. "We like it. We're big admirers of [Bethesda] and the product," he said. "We think we can do some wonderful things."

He says one challenge is how to combine some of the innovations from Dragon Age 2 with experience fans enjoyed in Dragon Age: Origins. He says he realizes that equipping individual party members is "important to the players," as one note of feedback from DA2. In the past he's mentioned that merging aspects of the two games is important to the studio.

Cribbing from Skyrim may be a tricky proposition, though. Dragon Age, and BioWare games in general, contain fairly linear stories, so combining open world elements could prove tricky. Whatever BioWare has up its sleeve, Muzyka seems to like the direction.

"Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans," he said. "I've seen something in the last couple weeks that is really the future of that franchise that is so compelling, I am so looking forward to being able to announce it."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 21, 2011 9:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Skyrim inspiring Dragon Age 3.

    Dragon Age 3 will take some lessons from Skyrim's open world approach, though BioWare is keeping vague on how it will combine the disparate elements.

    • reply
      December 21, 2011 9:02 AM

      How about taking some lessons from The Witcher instead? Or is that too hard to do?

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        December 21, 2011 9:13 AM

        This. DA is way more like TW than Skyrim. They've proven that they don't have what it takes to create varied, interesting environments within a super linear RPG, what makes them think they can even come close to pulling off Skyrim levels of ridiculousness?

        I predict bad things for DA3.

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        December 21, 2011 9:20 AM

        I wish it would take more from Dragon Age: Origins but I'm honestly having a ball with the DA2 despite all my bitching, so putting it into an open world instead of a mission select screen has all my best wishes.

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      December 21, 2011 9:06 AM

      Awesome, I saw this and knew it would happen.

      Man if they can add the open world and some Skyrim stuff and keep the rad story stuff and combat of DA man DA3 will be insane.

      Not to mention the word is it will use Frostbite 2 engine it could be amazing.

      Lets hope the stars align properly.

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      December 21, 2011 9:12 AM

      "We're checking [Skyrim] out aggressively" Yeah, they are just playing the game instead of working on a new game. That's all not even thinking about Dragon Age. :P

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      December 21, 2011 9:15 AM

      They should focus on making their own game unique, and fitting the gameplay style of the series, not changing everything from the ground up for each sequel. If I want to play a game like Skyrim, I'll buy Skyrim, not some half assed game by EA. EA has to earn my $$ much harder, and it has happened a little...during some massive steam sales for the Mass Effect series, but they shouldn't try to mimick other games.

      On a side note, am I the only one who loved the Neverwinter Nights series, both 1 and 2, but couldn't get through Dragon Age: Origins? I only played ~30 hours, but I felt that playing a spellcaster as my primary character put me at a massive disadvantage (no stoneskin, etc.), and it probably didn't help that I went with lightning (which works wonders in Skyrim). I also dislike the lack of any ability to turn off friendly fire. Too many dislikes, sadly, from one of my favorite developers (Bioware). Oh well...let's just wait and see how their next game does.

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        December 21, 2011 9:22 AM

        Playing a Mage in DA: Origin made you massivly powerful. I watched my friend playing with a group of just mages, he'd walk into a room, AOE and win the fight in seconds. I think you were doing it wrong.

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          December 21, 2011 10:03 AM

          He was definitely doing it wrong. The only irritation in DA:O was Enemies target Armor Class, not knowing that for the first 30 hours made my Dual Wielding Heavy Plate Dwarf hard to play.

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        December 21, 2011 9:51 AM

        Stop trying to battlemage and you'll be fine. In a four person team, the mage is at the back.

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          December 21, 2011 6:51 PM

          I keep my guy to the back, unfortunately, my guy is always the first to be targeted, and I die rather quickly. I played the same way in Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2, and kicked ass. I'm just imagining right now that one fight with the dwarves in the arena...my mage had to continuously drink potions nonstop to not die, especially in the 2v1 battle. But yeah, I kept hearing the same thing...use fireball and rape, but I went with lightning, and barely feel like I contribute to any battle compared to my fighters.

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            December 21, 2011 7:50 PM

            The optimal loadout for me was Shale (tank), Alistair (tank), the female mage healer (can't find her name), and myself as superpowered mage.

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        December 21, 2011 10:30 AM

        I didn't realize until afterwards that DA:O's mechanics are implicitly like WoW, except you control 4 characters instead of 1.

        it doesn't help that I never really played WoW, of course, so I had no idea how to approach various abilities or progress my characters. That was probably the biggest damn conceptual hurdle I had with the game, that made combat a huge and annoying chore instead of being fun.

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      December 21, 2011 9:16 AM

      If only they'd take some lessons from Dragon Age 1.

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        December 21, 2011 9:32 AM

        This * a million. They had a fantastic game, critics loved it. What more could they want.

        Fucking Bioware. They used to be the best. :(

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        December 21, 2011 10:03 AM

        Yes, god yes this. Why can't EA understand what made DA1 so good?

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        December 21, 2011 10:08 AM

        DA1 was lovingly crafted over a long period of time. EA in their fast cash grab mentality slave whipper the DA2 team to make a sequel faster. In software development, what have we learned?

        1. Quicker Turnaround
        2. Better Quality
        3. Cheaper

        You can only pick 2. EA picked 1 and 3...

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          December 22, 2011 10:02 AM

          that seems wrong. how do you get for example, better quality AND cheaper? by sacrificing the quick turnaround? Adding more time certainly wouldnt make it cheaper

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        December 21, 2011 11:07 AM

        DA1 wasn't that great, come on now. It was a decent RPG but it wasn't anything groundbreaking. It simply recycled every Bioware cliche into a good presentation.

        There's a ton of potential in the DA world though. I just hate Bioware's storyboarding. Every single game is "here's three (or four) major areas, go do their quests and then fight the big bad guy." Actions almost never have consequences, save for a blurb at the end of the game. Your character is never revisited in future games (always left open though).

        In contrast, The Witcher and TW2 show how storytelling RPGs are supposed to be done.

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          December 21, 2011 11:28 AM

          They could have easily built on it and improved it for DA2, don't kid yourself. Instead they went a different direction that the fans ultimately rejected. That's the key there. You can say whatever you want about DA1, but it had fans and good support. Pretty sure DA2 murdered those fans.

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            December 21, 2011 11:54 AM

            As I played DA:O I could tell the devs had played the Witcher and taken some notes.
            And I think you're forgetting how awesome multiple introductory stories and interweaving story arcs played together.
            The story of DA:O was fantastic, and anyone who doesn't agree simply didn't pay attention.

            also, why so many Witcher vs DA fights, we're all friends, its us vs the Mass Effect people!!!

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              December 21, 2011 12:12 PM

              Wrong answer. You MUST choose one it is impossible to enjoy both games.

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              December 21, 2011 12:12 PM

              people get all elitist over the DA storyline, im not sure why its a target. I thought it was excellent. it was generic, but generic done well is better than original for originals sake.

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              December 21, 2011 3:33 PM

              I paid attention. It just wasn't anything groundbreaking. It was standard fantasy-fare. It was LOTR re-writ for the PC.

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                December 21, 2011 3:54 PM

                It felt like it was LOTR rewritten to be more adult, but from the viewpoint of what a 12 year old thinks is dark. I loved DA:O but it wasn't because of the writing, which didn't detract from the game but it didn't impress me either.

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                  December 21, 2011 11:51 PM

                  I thought the writing was pretty solid, especially by videogame standards. The pre-release trailers made it look terrible though.

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        December 21, 2011 11:57 PM

        Yeah. There was nothing wrong with DA1, except that the combat could have been sped up a little. The ridiculous anime dashes of DA2 were way overboard.

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        December 22, 2011 2:20 AM

        ^^^^^

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      December 21, 2011 9:25 AM

      so no more endless corridors or corridor like caves etc? I'll believe when I see it

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      December 21, 2011 9:51 AM

      Why don't they play Dragon Age Origins if they want to know how to make a good game?

      Can anyone seriously say that DAO was a bad game?

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        December 21, 2011 9:59 AM

        It was a great game, although I really could not get past the generic art style and generally sub-par graphics. Someday I'll go back and I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

        I got all the way through the Fade before I lost interest.

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          December 21, 2011 10:03 AM

          There's no way they could fix the art style unless they start over with a new IP that isn't generic as hell. I really liked Dragon Age: Origins gameplay wise but the universe it's in is so boring.

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          December 21, 2011 10:04 AM

          sub-par graphics is the argument i don't understand, the game is beautiful. The consoles did a poor rendering of it though

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            December 21, 2011 10:11 AM

            Everything is pretty low-poly and low-res. Even compared to something like the Witcher 1.

            Probably a terrible comparison -
            The Witcher - http://www.gamershell.com/static/screenshots/2565/271933_full.jpg
            DA: O - http://www.ngohq.com/attachments/screenshots/2561d1263731540-dragon-age-origins-screenshots-dyre_395992.jpg

            It wasn't HORRIBLE looking, but if it was going to try that generic ass art style, it better have cock-strokingly amazing graphics. TW2 did this correctly.

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              December 21, 2011 10:36 AM

              I'm just going to stop now, because you're using one of my most incomparable rpg experiences, against the only other equally as incomparable and characterful rpg experience in recent memory.

              I enjoyed the stylistic choices of DA:O I even thought some were meaningful and poignant.
              I enoyed the fully realized colorful world of The Witcher too.

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              December 22, 2011 12:11 AM

              I'm not seeing what you're seeing here. The Dragon Age screenshots look better than that particular Witcher screenshot imo. A few places in DA:O looked horrible. The swamp where you first meet Morrigan was the fugliest place ever, and the village you go to shortly after that didn't look so great either. The dwarven caves were pretty bland. Other than that, the game looked good and the world felt like a unique place, with its own politics, religions, and cultures.

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            December 21, 2011 10:32 AM

            My gaming PC screensaver is a random slideshow of literally hundreds of screenshots from games I have played on that machine. Every once in a while a screenshot from DAO pops up and I am struck by how great they still look, particularly if I had the camera zoomed out in the overhead view. The Baldur's Gate vibe is very strong and I get all nostalgic for awesome tactical party based RPGs.

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            December 21, 2011 11:09 AM

            DA:O looked fantastic

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              December 21, 2011 11:11 AM

              Yeah... I don't get this either.. I thought it looked great.

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                December 21, 2011 11:13 AM

                Man, I can't be the only one. I thought I remembered this coming up in multiple reviews, and even here on the Shack. Nobody said it was a 'bad' looking game, just that its graphics were pretty staunchly within the 'mediocre' category.

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                  December 21, 2011 11:14 AM

                  if I recall it was more that it looked a bit backwards compared to Mass Effect/ ME2 upcoming -- but I'm not really sure I trust my memory on that.

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                  December 21, 2011 2:08 PM

                  It wasn't awful looking, but it wasn't good looking - the art direction was mostly uninteresting and there were a lot of jarring low res textures

                  At times it looked pretty decent though

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                December 21, 2011 11:17 AM

                There are some complaints about the colour pallet and that its "generic fantasy" but I think the vistas are nice, and the intricate detail on the gigantic interiors. Down to the patterning on armour and ceilings and walls.

                Also its partly hampered by how it feels to move around, objects are static and interaction is fairly clunky. You bounce against the edge of geometry as the path is drawn on the map, without really interacting with it. So players become super aware of the geometry, and less aware of their surroundings as a world.

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              December 21, 2011 4:08 PM

              DA looked okay. DA2 looked great with the HiRez pack.

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        December 21, 2011 10:55 AM

        I found it pretty meh (no complaints about graphics, etc) as far as mechanics (and clarity of some of them) and story/world. I'll give it another try sometime. I ultimately found Jade empire pretty underwhelming too but finished it just the same.

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          December 21, 2011 2:10 PM

          If you didn't make it out of your origin story, then the game will seem like it sucks. Get past your origin quests and the game opens up into some amazing shit.

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            December 21, 2011 2:57 PM

            Hm? I made it past my origin story (mage) and went a bit farther. Basically the town I was at when I lost momentum is where you met the girl priest character or whatever (early, but past origin story).

            Oh, my other complaint was their stupidly simplistic (and badly scripted) henchman alignment/opinion system.

            If I went back to it, I'd probably just turn the difficulty back to normal (I put it on hard or whatever the equivalent was) and just blow through it and see if I liked it more.

            For reference, I liked Fallout 1 (2 was fun, but better mechanics, worse story and stupid pop culture), Elder scrolls games, Ultima games, Wizardry 8, Planescape:Torment, Gothic1, etc. Need to go back and finish gothic2. I had fun with BG/BG2, though I actually think those are really overrated.

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          December 21, 2011 4:26 PM

          There was so much wrong with it, it cancelled out anything they did right to me.

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      December 21, 2011 10:22 AM

      EA: Why can't Dragon Age be yearly like AssCreed?!?!?!

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        December 21, 2011 10:39 AM

        ^^part of the problem

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          December 21, 2011 11:11 AM

          Can't tell if you are joking or not. I hope you are joking because that would be the perfect way to kill of the series completely.

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            December 21, 2011 11:23 AM

            I think he's agreeing with you

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              December 21, 2011 11:45 AM

              Actually I mis-replied.. that was supposed to be to Lunatic Angelic's post.

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        December 21, 2011 11:56 AM

        EA: Why does there have to be all this dialog shit?!?! Why can't you be more like Modern Warfare!?!?!?

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          December 21, 2011 12:09 PM

          well, Mass Effect is basically ONLY dialog and then a vague imitation of a shooter, so I guess they just like living on the edge.

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            December 21, 2011 3:59 PM

            Bioware's latest games are defined by their dialogue system. KOTOR, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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              December 21, 2011 4:51 PM

              very true, and that dialog system is great. however i really dislike the direction they have been taking the actual gameplay recently.

    • reply
      December 21, 2011 10:25 AM

      "He says one challenge is how to combine some of the innovations from Dragon Age 2 with experience fans enjoyed in Dragon Age: Origins"

      There was nothing innovative about DA:2.

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      December 21, 2011 10:58 AM

      But why should we care? Everyone remotely affiliated with EA seems to go batshit insane and then sheepishly realize it was a bad idea. I'd rather buy 10 Skyrim expansions than put up with their craziness.

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      December 21, 2011 11:25 AM

      Every creative type who does or says this just shoots themselves in the foot. Like when a band says, "We promise this new stuff is as hard as our old stuff."

      And you usually know how it turns out.

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      December 21, 2011 12:05 PM

      The horrible reaction to DA2 ruined DAO for me. Going into the game, we all knew it was going to be a trilogy at least, and I was part way through DAO, taking a hiatus for other things with the expectation to go back and finish it, when DA2 came out and it came to be known they had basically changed the entire focus and design of it. I just lost the desire to finish DAO knowing that next would come DA2. I dont have the time or energy these days to play every single game that comes out, so i dropped it. I regret it sometimes, I really enjoyed my time with DA but knowing how much I really disliked the fundamental changes to the sequel, and knowing likely the third one will be an equally focus grouped mess just helps to get rid of my regrets for abandoning DAO.

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      December 21, 2011 12:10 PM

      http://www.shacknews.com/article/71670/dragon-age-3-drawing-inspiration-from-skyrim?id=27315953

      what is with duplicate stories with different titles and comment threads? now we have fragmented comments. sigh... i miss the old shacknews.

      • reply
        December 21, 2011 12:12 PM

        What the hell? I thought comments were linked here and with the front page. When did they start splitting them off?

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      December 21, 2011 1:02 PM

      da1 was awesome, da2 sucked, elder scrolls sucks, da3 will suck. that is all

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      December 21, 2011 1:07 PM

      I hope they dont stray away from the DA1 formula too much. That game was effing great.

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        December 21, 2011 1:31 PM

        It was, but I feel like it'd be a lot more immersive if your party moved around the world more like Skyrim (with fast travel available of course), so that you could actually explore these vast areas rather than having to just jump from enclosed area to enclosed area (even if DA's areas were usually pretty large)

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      December 21, 2011 2:01 PM

      Can't it take lessons from dragon age origins and baulder's gate 2?!

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        December 21, 2011 7:17 PM

        Considering DA was supposed to be the "spiritual successor" you'd think so.

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      December 21, 2011 3:17 PM

      Seems Bioware doesn't know where to go with this series. Maybe they should take a break and get their heads straight rather than copy what others are doing. When I read this I couldn't help but feel depressed and sad for for this IP.
      Maybe they need new custodians, seems like EA has Bioware pulling triple duties.
      Command and Conquer, Mass Effect, The Old Republic and Dragon Age, which was already treated as the step child of the bunch is now relegated to "copying" others.

      I don't feel confident in this series any longer. They need vision, and they lack it.

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        December 21, 2011 3:20 PM

        I agree on taking a break. It just comes off they have no respect for their own IP. First a hardcore RPG, then some kind of ridiculous actiony one no one quite understood... now, they say don't worry they're copying other games? It's incredibly awkward and I don't remember the last company to treat their own IP this weirdly like it's just a name to slap anything inside.

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        December 21, 2011 7:27 PM

        I agree. I was pissed when I found out DA2 would be an isolated story. Crazy shit went down in the first game.

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      December 21, 2011 3:23 PM

      Dragon Age was good. Why can't we have Dragon Age?
      Not Dragon Age 2, not Dragon elder scrolls Age, but just Dragon Age.

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        December 21, 2011 3:55 PM

        Because apparently EA's marketing department runs the whole company

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          December 21, 2011 4:03 PM

          I'm not so sure this is entirely EA's fault, if you watch any interviews with Mike Laidlaw or read anything he writes about DA criticism he seems to be a delusional lunatic and I'm pretty sure he's a significant contributor to running the franchise straight into the ground

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            December 21, 2011 4:13 PM

            This right here.

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            December 21, 2011 4:37 PM

            They genuinely believe that they're going to reach out to the CoD crowd and make them think their lameass hippy elves are cool by hacking off whole limbs of standard RPG gameplay to make it 'actiony' and 'awesome'. It's hilarious.

            All that comedy is compounded by Witcher 2 being released around the same time. A game that is not just far more gorgeous, but also saw commercial success, almost unanimous critical praise and accomplished DA2's action-rpg goals without alienating the PC audience at all. Gayoware lmao.

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              December 21, 2011 5:06 PM

              I look forward to this paired down DA experience. Especially when it runs smack into Diablo 3 and gets completely and utterly destroyed causing the DA team to suddenly realize they abandoned the only kind of RPG they knew how to build.

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        December 21, 2011 7:28 PM

        To be fair though, Dragon Age Origins with an open world instead of the mini-map to travel between locations would be pretty fucking sweet.

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        December 21, 2011 7:30 PM

        because EA.

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      December 21, 2011 4:24 PM

      Dragon Age needs to die now.

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        December 22, 2011 1:57 AM

        I vote for EA instead.

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          December 22, 2011 2:00 AM

          I hope every publisher goes under and videogames stop being made

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      December 22, 2011 1:50 AM

      EA marketing are scratching their heads about this one to. Basically any time a game is huge that isn't EA's they go nuts trying to work out why and replicate it. More so than any other publisher.

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        December 22, 2011 2:04 AM

        The answer to Skyrim is the same answer as with any successful franchise - successive releases build brand momentum and mindshare, and TES has had multiple successive releases which have been good and encouraged the development of an audience.

        I guess at EA things like that happen by accident lol :P

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          December 22, 2011 2:20 AM

          Good Sir, I completely agree. Ea will look for shortcuts, but it's as simple as "make a great game, and make the next one even better". There's the marketing too though, Bethesda really nailed getting a lot of exposure out there - not just us hardcore gamers, but the broader Xbox owners. Ever since Oblivion basically - hell, I know co-workers who buy like 2 games a year and one is always TES.

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      December 22, 2011 1:54 AM

      if what comes out of this is a skyrim that has some decent writing that has a little drama, this could be good. I think Dragon Age did a pretty good job with characters and their motivations and how those played off one another.

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      December 22, 2011 7:43 AM

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      December 22, 2011 11:58 AM

      DA: Origins was a good game and a nice follow up to BG series. DA2 was a joke. Oversimplified combat and the same dungeon over, and over again. Give me a break. They used to make good games and then they took an arrow to the knee. I think Skyrim is a good game, but the console port really degrades the experience on a PC. If it inspires them to do a better job with DA3 then great. However, why don’t they look at what made the BG games and DA:O good games and improve on them. Here is a hint. Great story, character development and customization, and an interesting world to explore. Here is a second hint develop it for PC with DX11 with high res textures and then tone it down for the console ports and not the other way around. Heck by the time they are done with it the new consoles may be ready to break cover anyhow and would be able to handle this level of graphics quality.

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        December 23, 2011 6:56 PM

        The first game you love so much was designed for the consoles in mind, quit hating so much.

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