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Dragon Age II Interview

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Dragon Age II Interview

Interview - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Wed 22 December 2010, 12:30:01

Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age II

More Dragon Age 2 news surface, another interview is available, this time over at RPGamer. Mike Laidlaw and David Gaider answer questions, here is an excerpt:

I've been playing as a rogue, and most of the skills I've seen so far have been very positioning based. A lot of them are very fast and make the rogue a lot more fun to play, but some of the positioning skills feel a little stiff. The rogue has a backflip move, and this one in particular feels that way — it's always a backflip; it's not directional, it's always straight backwards from wherever you're facing, even if that's into a bunch of enemies. Was this done intentionally because this is a tactical sort of game, or are you just not wanting to make it as "actiony" as a traditional action title?
ML: There's a fundamental answer there, which is cool. One of my tenets when we sat down to look at combat was, "What I want to get away from, guys, is the sense of active defense," because at that point you're basically making what we'd call a brawler, where you have blocks, you have dodges, and that sort of thing. The problem with active defense, as I see it, is that active defense works exceptionally well if you're controlling one guy, but I don't want to move Dragon Age into a position where I'm controlling one guy, and I don't want to feel like the AI won't flip out of the way so I must try to control all four peoples' defenses. So when I sat down with the combat team, we developed a rule that said, fundamentally, defense is a preparatory activity — putting on armor, drinking the right potions, casting buffs, maintaining modals, that provide protection so that as the player I'm largely the offensive coordinator, choosing what spells to cast, what debuffs to throw, whether or not to stun the guy, and so on. The end result is that, while you can't do directional stick evading, what you can do is pause the game, switch characters, take the aggro, and play it like an RPG with the kind of complex tactical elements that we thought were really neat. The rogue's evade skill does some additional stuff. It flips backwards which is great, but it also causes enemies to lose threat, so they tend to move back to your tank. It has a sort of double role. It's a really fundamental thing: if I want to make a team-based game, I think that active defense gets you in trouble, so we moved away from that and said, "Make defense preparation and active in the moment."
I can't wait to see the complex tactical elements that you thought were really neat for myself. Personally I assume they're neither complex nor tactical, but we will see.
Spotted at: Gamebanshee

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