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Preview BioWare's guide to good Dragon Age previews.

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by DarkUnderlord, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age

    Step 1: <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Main/Articles/dragon-age-preview.php">Bribe the journalist</a>:
    <br>
    <blockquote>I had the honor of being offered a chance to attend a press event hosted by BioWare, in Edmonton, Canada, during August 12 to 14. With BioWare being kind enough to offer a free hotel room, and being taken out on the town, as well as a chance to get an in-depth look at the game, this opportunity was just too good to pass up.</blockquote>
    <br>
    Step 2: Confuddle them with developer access:
    <br>
    <blockquote>Some of the game's developers, including the Lead Developer himself, Michael Laidlaw, were on hand to give as a taste of what we can expect in Dragon Age.</blockquote>
    <br>
    Step 3: Win!
    <br>
    <blockquote>It will be an impressive product that will come out in November, I can say that much.
    <br>
    [...]
    <br>
    To begin with, an explanation of what is meant by dark fantasy in the context of this game is in order. First, the term dark fantasy is meant as a deliberate contrast to high fantasy.
    <br>
    [...]
    <br>
    All of this makes for an incredibly rich and detailed campaign that BioWare has obviously invested a great amount of effort into putting together. And it also takes roleplaying to the highest order. I will be highly surprised if there is any potential decision in the game that is truly innocuous. That is to say, any decision can have repercussions for your character, however further down the road. And they can be pretty drastic indeed. It also means that many decisions have a definite complexity that goes far beyond previous RPGs.</blockquote>
    <br>
    You can read the rest of Sorcerers' Places's'ss <a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/Main/Articles/dragon-age-preview.php">rather gushing preview here</a>.
    <br>
    <br>
    <a href="http://gamebanshee.com/previews/dragonageorigins3-1.php">Meanwhile over on GameBanshee</a>...
    <br>
    <blockquote>Let me start off by first saying that if you're looking for a quick, generalized overview of Dragon Age: Origins, then this article isn’t for you. I’m not going to be covering the dark fantasy atmosphere the game employs, nor will I be covering the six origin stories at length or any of the specific goals that need to be accomplished during the game. All of that has been paraded about in countless previews on the web and in magazines, and I feel as though I have much more important ground to cover after spending several hours with the game.
    <br>
    <br>
    Instead, my purpose with this article is to give you a firm understanding of the game's mechanics and inner workings so you can formulate your own opinion on whether or not Dragon Age: Origins is worthy of a spot next to your Baldur's Gate collection as BioWare claims it to be. Make yourself comfortable - there's a lot to learn.</blockquote>
    <br>
    They've got a bunch of <a href="http://gamebanshee.com/news/static/EkVkpupypkhvmGyZLS.php">interviews and stuff as well</a> (because that's what you're supposed to do with developer access, silly!). A metric fuckton of <a href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/73907">concept art and screenshots are</a> also up at tentonhammer.
    <br>
    <br>
    Thanks <b>Taluntain</b>!
     
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  2. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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  3. Talby Arcane Patron

    Talby
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    Death is too good for them.
     
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    • retadred retadred x 1
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  4. Emotional Vampire Arbiter

    Emotional Vampire
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    ITT: More baseless Codex bitching at everything.
     
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  5. WhiskeyWolf RPG Codex Polish Car Thief Patron

    WhiskeyWolf
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    :roll:
     
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  6. garren Arcane

    garren
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    "I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book of Influence (a summary is here)"

    This piece came originally from this microsoft bribing bloggers writeup, but it seems to fit here :).

    EDIT: Before you start bitching how every sensible person knows this already, yeah that's true.
     
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  7. Emotional Vampire Arbiter

    Emotional Vampire
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    I'm pretty sure if Jasede paid for my night in a hotel room I'd still think he's a fag.
     
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  8. Lesifoere Liturgist

    Lesifoere
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    Every time they use the term "dark fantasy" in relation to DA, I feel slightly nauseated.
     
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  9. Blackadder Prestigious Gentleman Magister

    Blackadder
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    Chances are, by morning, you would be one too. Dark fantasy indeed.
     
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  10. Taluntain Most Frabjous

    Taluntain
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    Press events of this type are common throughout the gaming industry so it's hard to see them as bribes, especially considering that there are always so many attendees from various different gaming magazines and websites that they're not really exclusive to anyone (yes, GameBanshee and a dozen others were there as well; look for a slew of previews in the next few days). Those who want to write a positive preview do and those who don't either write a not so positive one or don't write it at all (admittedly, outright negative ones are very rare, but if the game sucks that much, it usually doesn't get very close hands-on scrutiny in advance either).

    Beren's gone in unburdened by the result as his day job doesn't including playing RPGs, he has no quotas to fill and no advertisers to please so he can afford sincerity that some other sites can't. So the preview isn't an attempt at pleasing BioWare in any way but simply the way he feels about the game given his level of exposure to it. Naturally, that's not up to the Codex standards of detailed scrutiny, but so few things are...
     
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  11. Morbus Scholar

    Morbus
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    Indeed. It's basically bribery, but it's widespread, and anyone should know to completely disregard every single preview.

    Except those, of course, who diss the game, for obvious reasons.
     
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  12. Pliskin Arbiter

    Pliskin
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    Press junkets are expensive, yes.
     
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  13. Ogg Prophet Patron

    Ogg
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    Codex 2012 Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Do you really claim that SP's preview would have been less prejudiced if not for the bribery? They're that's a Bioware fan site ffs. What did you expect?

    As for the Gamebanshee hands on, it's quite informative. I'm not very impressed by the skills system to say the least. It seems quite generic (even for an ARPG) and I doubt it will offer much in terms of character planning. The tactical customisation seems interesting, but I fear it will look like the gambit system in FFXII (we all should give new jRPG a try to see what we'll get in the coming years in our beloved wRPG). And in FFXII it really felt like "our IA dev is a fucking moron, we know. so let's say players are in charge of it. but don't offer too much customization, it would ruin the whole point of grinding."
     
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  14. bhlaab Arbiter

    bhlaab
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    I don't know if a free hotel room counts as bribery. It sounds more like "we're making you go out of your way to preview our game, the least we can do is cover expenses"

    However the "being taken out on the town" sounds fishy and incredibly non-specific
     
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  15. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
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    So they finally adopted Bethesda/Zenimax's way of paying off Professional Gaming Journalists™ so that Dragon Age will be an instant 11/10!! Must have! Epic! blah blah.

    The combat does however seem........ interesting.
     
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  16. HanoverF Arcane Patron

    HanoverF
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    MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    On the one hand I agree, on the other a trip to Edmonton to preview Dragon Age is a rung below winning a trip to Delaware to visit a screen door factory.
     
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  17. Dionysus Scholar

    Dionysus
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    Yeah, I think devs do this now to try (futility) to prevent their game from leaking. The perks are more of a mea culpa than a bribe. Getting sent to Edmonton for work isn't really an awesome deal. It would be ridiculous if Bioware didn't do anything to play host.
     
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  18. Solaris Scholar

    Solaris
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    I'm no real fan of BW these days but what's the big deal? Software companies do this all the time, it's a reasonable thing in this instance. If journos feel compelled to gush over the game because of it then they are the fools not the devs. At least SP admitted to the pampering, unlike some places...
     
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  19. Weresloth Novice

    Weresloth
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    If the same reviews were that DA was a pos the reviewers would be lauded around here as being sensible I'm sure.

    I'm also puzzled by how much value people put in labels such as 'Dark Fantasy', 'spiritual successor' the strict definition of what an 'rpg' is as if anything that falls outside of those little pigeon holes has to be crap.

    The only solution is for the codex to find one trusted person to throw themselves on the sword and buy the next BioWare product and give an 'impartial' review.

    How about countering in game information with rebuttle rather than useless labels and whether a reviewer had a tuna sandwich.
     
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  20. Weresloth Novice

    Weresloth
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    Edmonton is a fine city, especially this time of year.
     
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  21. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic.

    DarkUnderlord
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    It was more the tripe about having had the 'honor' at being invited, coupled with the over-the-top gushing and complete lack of any factual information (played for 12 hours, alledgedly saw 'in-depth demos of the game features, as well as some of the creative processes' yet there's no detail on what they are, then talks about taking 'roleplaying to the highest order', 'many decisions have a definite complexity' but fails to give any examples - Particularly when examples given in other previews indicate lack of depth and typical forced BioWare outcomes).

    If he'd paid for himself, maybe half the preview wouldn't be about how honoured he felt and he might've focussed more on actually previewing the game?

    Compare it to Buck's preview at GameBanshee. Detail. "This is that. This is how it works. That means you'll be doing this a lot. I got to do this. It worked like that". No gushing. No "THIS IS SO AMAZING OMIGOSH WOW" without any information on what it was that was found to be so amazing.

    It's not what you do, it's how you do it.
     
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  22. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "Particularly when examples given in other previews indicate lack of depth and typical forced BioWare outcomes)."

    I seriously doubt they have the time to figure out if different options always led to the same outcome. The only thing we know for sure that is 'forced' is joining the order.
     
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  23. Weresloth Novice

    Weresloth
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    "Compare it to Buck's preview at GameBanshee. Detail. "This is that. This is how it works. That means you'll be doing this a lot. I got to do this. It worked like that". No gushing. No "THIS IS SO AMAZING OMIGOSH WOW" without any information on what it was that was found to be so amazing.

    It's not what you do, it's how you do it."

    Oh I agree with you that the gamebanshee review was just excellent, lots of very well organized information, one of the best reviews that I've seen. More reviews should be like that, provide as much info as possible and let the reader decide if they like it or not. My point is that there is much scorn over the omigosh! reviews but the usual unsubstantianted it's BioWare it must stink rhetoric on here which is equally silly.
     
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  24. WhiskeyWolf RPG Codex Polish Car Thief Patron

    WhiskeyWolf
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    Bullshit.
     
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  25. aries202 Erudite

    aries202
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    At least the journalist from Sorcer's Place admitted that Bioware (and was allowed to do so) paid for his trip. I haven't seen Bethesda allowing any journalists to do so?

    I don't have a problem with this; many game companies do this... It is, in fact, the only way for some places to get a hands-on with games like Dragon Age: Origins...

    Reading the Gamebanshee review/preview of Dragon Age: Origins actually upped my confidence for this game a bit - sadly I don't have the omputer to play it :( - nor do I have the mobey right now to buy an Xbox 360 :( [Not that I want to do so, but it is a bit cheaper than upgrading my computer or buying a new one...].
     
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