Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dragon Age: Friend or Foe?

I don’t know about you, but I am preoccupied with the impact of DA on NWN2 building and its community. The quality of its toolset will be determinant in that regard (of course, assuming DA itself has sound game mechanics – which I do expect it to have.)

Bioware has just started taking applications for Beta testers. So, in the hope of getting a chance to understand the TS’s potential better, I have applied.

Will you?


Wyrin said...

I just got the newsletter through too and am thinking of applying... But I'm in two minds.

As i've touched on before, I'm coming more round to the view of NWN2 as 'last bastion of 3e D&D CRPGs', and I'd like to see that continue as my favorite edition so far. DA might be fun, but it won't be D&D (which has good and bad aspects).

So I'll likely dabble in DA. From what i've seen, I'm concerned that there could be even more aspects to tweak and control than in the jump from NWN1 to NWN2, making development time even longer. But that extra power could be tempting.

I was kinda reassured by the results of the poll I ran on the future of NWN2 (still haven't gotten round to summarising on my blog but the results are still up).

It'll be intereting to see if, perhaps with lessons learned from those moving from NWN1 to NWN2, more modding groups are present from the start, and approach building that way.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...


I agree with Wyrin. :)


Chaos Wielder said...

From my understanding, DA will not feature an 'area design' as we are used to. It seems you might literally need a 3DSMax suite to even craft your own 3D areas--this is outside my budget and time limits. The game still has placeables and such, so mods for the OC will likely be occuring, but I'm not sure beyond that.

My suspicion is that there will be a few great projects for DA, but it won't even be as open as NWN2...which is saying something, I thinl.

Jclef said...

I'm totally signing up - I'm really looking forward to seeing what this DA toolset can do!

E.C.Patterson said...

The beta (if anyone of us does get in...) should tell us what the TS's area creation capabilities are. This will answer a lot of questions, and concerns.

I suspect there will be an NDA on publication of views about the TS, which is too bad... Otherwise I would love to hear about first hand impressions for real...

If anyone gets in, do let us know.

That being said, for me too, DA not being D&D is probably its principal handicap.

Amraphael said...

Nah, I'll only be a player as I'm not entirely charmed by what I've seen/read about DA. It's even a small possibility that I'll not try the game at all but that may change when it's released. Don't ask me why as I don't have a clear explanation but DA don't make me go crazy of excitement. It looks pretty, the story seems okay enough, it's more mature. Maybe it's the lack of multiplayer or just perhaps that I'm a conservative sob that most of all want to play BG over and over again :)

Lariam said...

Foe! ;)

Jason said...

I will apply. The toolset looks like a real leap forward, and unlike most of you perhaps, I would actually enjoy a separation from the D&D rule set and lore.


SirChet said...

Myself I can't wait to see what Bio ware pulls out of their hat when not restricted by DnD.

Tool-set you say? We'll see if it's what I can call a tool-set, I'll hold my opinion until then.

I love DnD, but I believe the creative minds at Bioware are going to impress us.

Oh, and friend or foe?

BioWare will always be a gamers friend. ;)

vendalus said...

Moving away from 3e doesn't bother me as much. For me, it's all about multiplayer. Especially if what Chaos Wielder said is true about areas, I'm concerned they'll have enough of a community. I'll probably check out the game though.

Frank Perez said...

Dragon Age will probably cater to the same market that enjoyed Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Both are medieval fantasy games with no multiplayer feature. Oblivion isn't as easy to mod as NWN2, and it looks like neither will Dragon Age. There will probably be a loyal base of modders for DA just as there is one for Oblivion.

Nevertheless, without multiplayer support and easy area construction, DA won't be the bane of NWN2, whose main competitor is still NWN1.

As for me, I'll skip the beta and wait for the game's official release.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... since Adam Miller has already blogged about DA toolset; and considering a few Osian and independents were welcomed to Edmonton for a sneek peak; top that off with D&D 4.0 edition and that 3.X editions are no longer "supported" by WofC and Hasboro...
I suspect that NWN2's rocky launch has hurt it badly.
Perhaps if a hobby orientated "Indy studio" such as Osian or yourselves is contracted to create an expansion or premium adventure mods - it would get a shot in the arm...but I am not holding my breath as Atari/WofC track record on MoW is less than spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Ehm. DA has an "area editor", although the terminology needs a bit of clarification.

The toolset has two editors - one for editing the terrain, similar to what you do in NWN2. This is the "Level editor". The second editor is the "Area editor", which is used to populate the level with interactive placeables, monsters, triggers and such.

Here is a screenshot from the level editor

E.C.Patterson said...

This looks so much like NWN2, it's amazing.

I wonder if the level editor will allow such flexibility with interiors: I understand it won't use tiles, but only premade room "objects". There will have to be a great enough selection of those I suppose.

donna said...