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Interview Dragon Age II Won't Be Dumbed Down

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: BioWare; Dragon Age 2

    <p>... it will be welcoming instead. Mike Laidlaw, lead designer on <strong>Dragon Age II</strong>, the man who does his best to design his games with the one-handed, clueless, half-brained and mentally and emotionally unprepared in mind, <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/6297/the_rise_of_dragon_age_ii.php">gets the interview treatment at Gamasutra</a>.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p><strong>So Peter Molyneux got up on stage at GDC last year and said, "Our mandate for Fable III is to sell five million copies this time, and that's why we are making specific streamlining decisions." Have you had any mandate? "We want a bump. We want to reach out to more people. We want more people to like Dragon Age II than Dragon Age Origins."</strong><br /><br />ML: Huh! Okay. So I think that's a goal, but when you say "mandate," it becomes a much harsher thing. Mandate is a "you must," and the decisions will be made due to focus groups or something.<br /><br />For me, I guess, fundamentally, there are more people who are ready to play RPGs than realize it. These are people who will play FarmVille. These are people who have shot enough people in the head that they've leveled up in Medal of Honor. They've gained XP and have received awards as a result. That's an RPG mechanic. They've played [Grand Theft Auto] San Andreas and they've run enough, and gotten buff enough, that their endurance is a higher. They've leveled.<br /><br />So I think there's more people out there with RPGs, and then it's honestly on RPGs to try to figure out how to take the mechanics that people are actually loving in other genres and say, "No, no, no. We had those years ago, but we understand that they kind of were scary."<br /><br />So there was no mandate, but I mean there were decisions that we made as a team that said, "Okay, this is, I think, more welcoming." Not "dumbed down" or anything like that, but welcoming. Like starting the game, your character walks up, says something kind of over the top, and immediately starts exploding Darkspawn. I haven't set my decks at all. I haven't spent points.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>Immediately starts exploding Darkspawn? Well, judging by the demo, design goal achieved!! Congratulations.</p>
    <blockquote>
    <p>What it does, is it lets you get into the game and go, "Okay, cool. This is what their combat is like. I get that." Then the next thing you do is build your character.<br /><br />Then you level up and you start spending points, and the RPG mechanics are introduced in a way that's gradual, in a way that welcomes someone who would otherwise maybe go, "Whoa! Too complex!" and shut it off immediately, and lets them slide into it without even recognizing it ‑‑ which frankly, ideally increases the overall RPG customer base, which means we can make more RPGs, which means I can play more RPGs that I don't know the ending to. I like that.</p>
    </blockquote>
    <p>It boggles the mind. Peter Molyneux surely appears to be a shining beacon of reason compared to this guy. Of course to get to the people who play FarmVille or Medal of Honour one has to revolutionize the genre a bit. How about <a href="http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/141/index/6176701/1" target="_blank">removing all skills</a> for starters, the whole concept doesn't seem like something a neo-BioWare fan would be able to comprehend. Just replace it by roleplaying!</p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p><em>Thanks to Brother None and deus101 for pointing this out.</em></p>
    <p>Spotted at: <a href="http://www.gamebanshee.com/news/101713-dragon-age-ii-interview.html">Gamebanshee</a></p>
     
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  2. Peter Arcane

    Peter
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    Depressing. It's a sad state of affairs when people are manufacturing their games, not creating them, if you get what I mean.
     
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  3. CraigCWB Educated

    CraigCWB
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    He wants to sell high-end RPGs to people who play Farmville?

    Well, shit. Why the hell didn't Gygax get the idea to sell Dungeons & Dragons to people who play Monopoly way back in the 1970s? How did these new guys get to be so much smarter than their predecessors?
     
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  4. Lord Rocket Erudite

    Lord Rocket
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    They didn't have to. D&D was quite popular for a while there, you know (which is how Gygax got his infamous hot tub in LA or wherever it was).
     
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  5. Gosling Liturgist

    Gosling
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    The first two (so far) comments are mind boggling:

    :x :x :x

    I don't know, Hines and Molineaux start to seem pretty cool guys compared to Laidlaw. I mean every time he opens his mouth something :retarded: :decline: :x happens.
     
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  6. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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  7. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity
    It's funny that when he tried to get fanboys to invade the Codecks all we got were DAO refugees a la the Oblivion exodus.
     
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  8. Gosling Liturgist

    Gosling
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    [​IMG]

    Oh and the interviewer also seems a pretty intelligent guy with comments like:

    It's Gamasutra, I know I've been warned, but wtf?
     
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  9. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    And they are making a game to that audience? Fuck them, that bossfight was so easy, it wasn't even the hardest battle in the game!
     
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  10. Carlos' Bitch1 Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Carlos' Bitch1
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    It is known as Fellatio old boy.

    As for the interview itself....I...cannot think of anything to say actually. I thought I would bust loose, but it isn't happening.

    They have stolen the RPG genre, and made it into something else entirely.
     
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  11. MetalCraze Arcane

    MetalCraze
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    RPG is when you click on extremely short lines of text to have a gay sex between fantasy creatures depicted on screen.

    I believe this kind of gameplay is called 'courting and copulation'.
     
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  12. Befuddled Halfling Educated

    Befuddled Halfling
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    What? Was there some appeal on the Bio forums to spread the word to the heathen or the Codex (or any other place)? That would reek of desparation.

    The only step in DA2 that's potentially in the right direction is the framed narrative and 10 year span that lets you see consequences play out (instead of the shitty slideshow epilogue of origins).

    Other than that, I wonder why he's even going to the effort of denying that DA2's been dumbed down. The Mass Effect crowd will love that. The retards who found Origins too much to handle and quit after the Ogre of Ishaal fight will love that. The fans who loved Origins but pretended to boycott DA2 (while manically posting on the bioforums), will find their willpower breaks around March 13, at which point they will cave in to the calling and tiptoe meekly over to their local gamespot. The Bio fanbois will love anything that comes out of Laidlaw's ass, dumbed down, streamlined or whatever. So why is Laidlaw even trying here?
     
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  13. Vibalist Arcane

    Vibalist
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    Is any of this surprising? And does it matter by now? Bioware are simply not making games that pander to people who frequent this forum, so how about we stop worrying about it and play games we like instead?
    Let Bioware do what they do and ignore it if you dislike it. Pretty easy.
     
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  14. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Dragon Age 2; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Decline.

    Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Bioware and all the odious apparatus of Casual rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in IRC, we shall fight on the forums and comment sections, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the Bioware community site, we shall defend our Codexian values, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the General RPG discussion, we shall fight on the Codex Workshop, we shall fight in the News and Content Comments, we shall fight in the Codex Playground; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this forum or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the Old School Guard, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the new gaming world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the true cRPG genre.
     
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  15. Von Paulus Educated

    Von Paulus
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    I'm sure Churchill would shed a tear on this.
     
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  16. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    [​IMG]

    :salute:
     
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  17. Victor Dosev Novice

    Victor Dosev
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    Yosh! Haba for president!

    btw, is that avatar of yours from Age of Wonders by any chance? Cool game bro.
     
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  18. Serious_Business Best Poster on the Codex

    Serious_Business
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    I keep wondering why people care so much, but I guess Bioware at the current Codex target, that's all. It's just a cycle. I mean, how could someone be writing

    in 2011 and feel like they're saying something of note? They aren't. It's the same old bullshit. Newspost come out, people who needs KKKs write out the expected lines, skyway say it's going to be shit to keep his reputation up, we mock some people and make some jokes, if we're very lucky some gentle naive souls comes in and get torn to shreds, but that doesn't happen anymore since most newcomers come prepared by years of fucking lurking and put their jaded mask on from the get-go, or are alts. Boring. Then assholes like you and me go all meta-witty and ask why people are doing this. Next newspost and it'll be the same shit all over again like nothing happened. I'm not really bothered by it I guess, just being a meta-meta asshole
     
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  19. Kaanyrvhok Arbiter

    Kaanyrvhok
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    Fable 3 at 2.9 million

    Fable 3 will barely sell 3 million down 1 million from Fable 2. So whats next for Fable 4? Do you streamline it even more, end the series, or add [novelty]depth[/novelty to the shell?
     
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  20. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Peter "Drooling Retard" Molineux has a worthy new generation to take up his reins and keep riding the vidiyagames into everlasting idiocy without end.

    Wouldn't expect that just a couple of years ago, but lately bethsoft doesn't evoke nearly as much revolt and disgust from me as biowaffle does. Fuck, I can just picture it, later in the evening, their daily work done, those blobs of lard browse the web seeking dragon age gay porn fanfics posted by ugly fat lesbians and jerking off at it... bleh, I need a bucket ASAP.

    Pete & Toddster actually begin to look like semi-decent guys who know their RPGs next to these...things. Jimbob was prophetic in his third installment of Codexia, where Todd & Pete ultimately team up with the codexers. Who would have known... I am having a treacherous spark of hope about Skyrim igniting inside me just out of spite towards BW.
     
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  21. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Streamlined...like a gutter.

    Don't forget "riding" around on your horse and waving your "sword".
     
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  22. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    The moment that you stop caring is the moment that you have lost. And they have won. It is serious business. Codex is the lone beacon of light that shines through the darkness, the last bastion of true RPGayming. One place where the real meaning* of RPG has not been forgotten.

    *) C&C v.s. turn based combat v.s. character development, which is better and why?
     
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  23. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    Nothing wrong with introducing rpg mechanics in intitially simplified form and slowly sliding them into a game. Deus Ex did just that, and did it wonderfully. It's a game that is as popamole as any of the action-rpgs around today, (though I don't think Deus Ex went so far as to call itself an crpg - from memory they tried to avoid genre lables for understandable reasons), and showed that simplicity doesn't require retardation. If you can play the simplest Bioware or Bethesda game, you can very very very easily play Deus Ex, although you'll probably be put off by the ability to get killed in combat (not that combat isn't absurdly weighted in the player's favour even on hardest setting - it IS a superhero game as much as an rpg or a shooter, it's just that dying is actually a possibility if you screw up badly enough), miss the piss-taking and self-referential humour AND the occasional spot of genuine philosoraptory, and most of all, you'll complain about all these shitty dialogues with their lack of companions begging for sex and 'shouting ridiculous over the top things' (to sort of quote Gaider).

    ...but that aside, Deus Ex did the rpg mechanics as simple as you can go. Gone was SS2's hard skill-trees, where the game (bless its awesomeness) required a knowledge of BOTH shooters and crpgs GOING INTO THE GAME, without the ability to even try out a weapon or skill without significant investment first. In Deus Ex it's really quite some time before you can really make some branching skill placements - sure, you get to allocate some points early, and there's decent early exploration bonuses and the kits/weapons in the underwater ship off the docks on the first level, but really all characters will play pretty much the same for the first few hubs, and unless you're deliberately going for a min-max build on a replay, you'll get a chance to play with all the skill types and weapon types before you actually commit your character build past the point of no return. As noob-friendly as FO3.

    This is why I can't handle the 'we need simplicity' as an excuse for this kind of PR. Not that I'd want ALL crpgs to be like Deus Ex - it was a hybrid and a rpg-lite, and I'd like some actual tactical pure crpgs as well. But it shows that user-friendliness and simplicity is a matter of good design, not retardation and 'streamlining' into design-nihilism. If they could make games that taught Doom-fans to play crpgs, then they can sure as hell do more with the current gaming generation.
     
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  24. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    The shit Laidlaw says... :facepalm:

    How the fuck are RPGs "daunting"? What is so fucking complicated in figuring out that your stats/skills determine your chance of success and putting points into stats/skills governing activities you'd like to excel at?

    Yeah, dumbing down sounds kinda bad. It offends the dumb people. Unlike welcoming. It's even better than deferred success.

    I don't get the industry's obsession with people who don't like RPGs. Why make RPGs that play like action games? Why not make action games instead? I understand the drive to sell a shitload of copies and make a buck but didn't games like the BG series sell over 5 mil copies?

    Take Diablo 2, for example. I know it's an action RPG, but the game doesn't make any attempts to ease people into the stats and skills thing. Sold 1 mil in the first 2 weeks (looking very dated), 4 mil in about a year, over 10 mil by 2010. The fucking thing still keeps selling and was on top 10 charts last year.

    Don't they (EA, Bio, Laidlaw) look/think about these things? What makes them think that the answer is in "welcoming" RPGs?
     
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  25. Volourn Pretty Princess Pretty Princess

    Volourn
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    "Bioware are simply not making games that pander to people who frequent this forum"

    That's because tyhey don't need to. the Codex are hardcore RPG nerds so they're gonna buy pretty much anything remotely RPGish no matter how much they rant about how x game sucking.
     
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