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I was thinking of making a battle system that makes use of the Barrier and Guard System in Dragon Age, whereas the characters have a certain amount of damage that they can absorb when protected before damage actually touches their HP. I have some questions on how to go about them, not script-wise (though that would help), but by idea: 1) Should I transform TP or MP bar for the barrier/guard gauge? Or start a new one altogether? Should I even include both? In Dragon Age 3, the guard is the typical protection of front line warriors and stays throughout gameplay until depleted. The Barrier is a mage-specific protection that diminishes with damage and over time. Rogues just vanish and dodge. Also, Mages gain Mana over time, Rogues gain Stamina per hit while Warriors gain Stamina per kill. Having separate bars for TP and MP might be a bit frustrating or confusing, I think. Assuming I can make the bar work differently for each class, I should be able to make one a suitable bar for Barrier or Guard, but that takes one out and brings up the other. Should I bother trying to implement both cases? 2) Remove Basic Spell Healing? How did you feel that with this Guard-Barrier mechanic, they also removed the ability to heal normally via spells? Think this is a good idea for dungeon crawling or dungeon diving? 3) Relationship-Dependent Abilities I think this was more in Dragon Age 2. Do you really want to bond with your teammates for a few stat buffs? Or do you want to see more out of it? EDIT: 4) EXP System. Do you like Southpark: Stick of Truth's EXP/Lvl system or do you have suggestions? Do you think it's good for the rest of the party to share the same level as the main character regardless of surviving the encounter? I'm making an encounter-optional dungeon and I'm wondering about available and would-be-cool experience systems.
So, I've been playing the third entry in the Dragon Age series; Dragon Age: Inquisition. And as my second playthrough begins to draw to a close, I feel like this would be a good way to start a little series that I'll be calling, Yay, or Nay? What is this? Basically it's a reviewing series, but where i just kind of spew out random thoughts on the game until I reach my conclusion on the game. If it's a Yay, then I recommend you play it. If it's a Nay, then I recommend that you don't play it, and possibly go throw it in your fire pit depending on how I'm feeling that day. I'll be writing these as i go, so don't be surprised if I jump from subject to subject with no clear connection. Also expect spelling and grammatical errors, because it's almost 11 P.M here. Anyway. Let's get on with it. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dragon Age: Inquisition is a game developed by Bioware, powered by the Frostbite3 game engine and published by EA (Or Electronic Arts if you prefer, though I personally don't ever since the Sims City debacle last year.). It has been released on the Xbox360, Playstation 3, XboxOne, Playstation 4, and of course the PC. Right. Now that I have that out of the way. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the game has been developed on the Frostbite3 engine, which I believe was made by DICE, but I could be wrong, and I can't be bothered to check and make sure. Anyway. The reason why I draw attention to the engine upon which this game was made with is because (on the Xbox360 version at least) the game looks worse than Dragon Age: Origins, or DA2 most of the time. Most of the time hair shines as if it's covered in grease, or made out of plastic, faces barely emote and have murky, or blurred textures, eyelashes go through eyelids when characters blink, and there is more pop-in in both environments and character details then a freaking soda shop. (One especially recurring example it when I would go to see talk with my good buddy Dorian, and find myself horrified to see his face blocky, blurred and his facial hair melding into his face along with parts of his eyes for three second before filling in properly.) Although I did manage to take some time and look at footage on the PC, XboxOne and PS4, and I suddenly found myself looking at a fantastic looking game with, beautiful environments, hair that wasn't made out of lego, clear and realistic character faces and very little pop-in. So I guess if you're a graphics hound, then this game is already a Nay on the last-gen consoles. Although to be fair, I did eventually get past the graphical problems. It's just kind of disheartening for me that a game that looks absolutely brilliant on another platform, but looks terrible when ported over to the one I play on the most. Now that we have gotten done with what we see with our eyes, let us continue to we hear with our ears, or antennae if you're some kind of mutant insectoid man reading this in an apocalyptic future where a new brand of bug killing spray has somehow gone horrifically wrong and if you happen to be the later, then I want it to be known that I totally called it. But, anyway. Voice acting. It's rather nice... What? It's just really good voice acting. I guess the default voices for Dwarf and Qunari player characters is somewhat lacking in emotion, but I get the feeling that they are meant to be more stoic and unflinching hero, so it didn't really bother me and I just decided to use it on my more macho, or confident characters. Other then that the voice acting is just good. I found very few voices that I didn't like and that's mostly because the voice actors were playing characters with a French accent, which instantly land a voice in my torture rack due to a terrible accident I once had that involved a poorly made french toast, which I choose not to go into here. And since I mentioned Dwarves and Qunari in the previous paragraph I find myself now moving towards the character creation suite. This is a bioware game afterall, so when you start a new game you are transported to a strange green mist filled area with wonky lighting. (That again looked five times better on PC.) Here you can get to choose from four races, Humans, who are what humans always are in fantasy settings, that being the most widespread, and snobbish of the races, Elves, who are elves. I really don't have to say much more then that other then the fact that they are the only race that requires that your character has a tattoo. Then there are Dwarves, as short and beard-y as you like, and finally we have the Qunari, a race of horned giants that is best known for the radical and oppressive religion that the race is named after which dictates every point of their lives and "fixes" them is they try to stray from whatever path has been set for them, or if they question or criticize the leadership. But you play as one who has never lived under the Qun, making you a Tal-Vashoth, and it is possible to be born without horns, so feel free to be a sarcastic, authority questioning, non-committal, non-horn headed dweeb as you wave goodbye to whatever interesting character development you might have thought would have gone pretty well with the race. After you choose your stuck up Human, elfy Elf, beard-y Dwarf, or non-horny Qunari you get to choose your class for your character. There are three specialization with two weapon gameplay styles for each with the exception of the last. There are warriors, basically the lumbering tough guys/gals of the group who have a sword and shield style that focuses on staying out in-front of everyone and tanking damage while occasionally taking a second to scream at an enemy that his mother was half nug, and then they have a a two handed style for using great swords and mauls and the like, so that they can charge straight into the enemy lines and instantly getting ground into mulch. After that we have rogues, who are the typical thief class who are usually flanking in battle, or picking battle outside of it, they can either use dual daggers for poking you in the back, or bows to hang back and snipe in the brief moment before they get double stabbed in the back by the enemy dual dagger rogue. And finally we have the mages, who kind of work as an all around class, but mostly excel at support. They only get one weapon style, which is the staff. But they make up for this by having staves be the coolest looking weapons in the game with the largest customization option. Now that you have chosen the class that fits you the best, you are taken to the actual character appearance editor where you can change pretty much anything about the look of your character's face, but not their body, because of reasons. I really don't have a problem with the editor itself (Other then the fact that on last-gen console you can't have scar for your characters. Again, because of reasons.), but I do have one big one. And it is that the lighting isn't exactly the best, of the five characters that I have made to test out different play styles, three of them I had to go back and recreate within an hour of play because they ended up looking considerably more freakish then they did in the editor. My prime example of this is my Qunari character, who looked perfectly fine in the editor, but the second he got into an area with normal lighting he looked like a terrible black face character and i found myself spending the next thirty minutes laboriously correcting it. I also originally had a problem with there being no longer hair styles for female characters, but then i thought about it and found myself visualizing an unstoppable two handed style warrior carving through the enemy lines, her hair blowing victoriously in the wind in the brief second before a hurlock alpha easily grabbed her by her long flowing hair and yanking her head back it could easily lob her head of at the neck. After removing the terrifying image from my mind I finally found a reason to not be bothered with it. Oh. you can also choose between two voices for each gender here, although as far as I can tell there is no dialogue changes for either, so they are pretty much up to your preference. Now, as for gameplay there isn't really much I can say. It plays like most bioware games; you switch between talking with npcs and making dialogue decisions using a dialogue wheel, and then walking around areas fighting enemies, leveling up, and getting new skills. There really isn't much to say about it other then the fact that the combat is just well balanced and fun at times, even the new tactical camera that i feared was just going to be boring to use, but was actually pretty easy to use, and order your people around with, while the two most notable things on the dialogue fronts is that there is no longer a morality system for your character, which I like, and there is now several times where a dialogue option has a little picture to display what emotion your character will relate during that section of the conversation, which helps to cut down on the old mass effect problem of Shepard acting like a jerk when you wanted to act like cherub. The system from DA2 where you're party members had their own armor that they wore throughout the whole game that you could be upgraded by the player by buying the upgrades while solving problems around the city has now been torn out and replaced with the same system that was in DA:O where you have to micromanage everyone's equipment, and check them against every piece of armor you find in the game, which I personally dislike. I like it when character have an iconic look, not one that i can change at any moment and most likely look worse then the default. My dislike for the system is slightly diminished by the inclusion of a new crafting system that allows you to craft dozens of custom armors and weapons right done to what metal you want to use for the blade, what leather you want for the grip, and what rune you bolt unto it, all of which physically alter the look of the weapon, or armor (Actually you can't put runes on armor anymore. Another thing taken from DA2.) from the color of the breastplate to the scarf that every rogue armor seems to have. You can also make upgrade parts for most of the armors and all of the weapons that can give them some extra effects like more healing for the character that it is equipped to, or higher chance to inflict bleed on a target. You also can name every single piece of equipment that you craft, which I loved. There is also two other new gameplay additions, one is the war table, which consists of a map of two nations that you can complete non-playable operations to help grow your faction's influence and unlock new areas to explore. The other gameplay inclusion comes in the form of being able to judge character from different quests throughout the game and not just the main story. It is basically just another dialogue conversation, but with several options with what to do with the people, which is perfect for exacting petty revenge against a minor antagonist who's voice dripped with smug. Over all the game has enough to keep you entertained and engaged for pretty much the entirety of the game, although it may begin grating on you near the end of the game depending on your tolerance levels. Wow. So much for not having much to say about the gameplay. Now the only things left to talk about are characters and story, the two things that are the hardest to talk about without spoiling massive parts. Let me just say this about the story: If you enjoyed the world and story of the previous games I think you will enjoy the story here. It has a few good twists and surprises, and really cool moments along with an villain and ending that I personally felt fit in well with the rest of the series. And as for the characters, I found myself liking every single one of them, even if some of them made me want to hit them with an iron bat until they stop being so snobbish. Most of them have nice character archs and most have decisions in their personal quests that can change something major for the character. The romances also seem really well done if the two that I have done are any indication. Anymore then this I dare not say about the characters, or story, so i guess it's time to wrap up. So does Dragon Age Inquisition get Yay, or a Nay? I would say it gets a Yay. I personally have been having a barrel of fun playing this game and getting to now the characters. I guess that's all there is to say, so... that's the first installment of "Yay, or Nay?" Have a good day everyone. -LS
I have recently begun re-playing Skyrim, and Dragon Age: Origins, while at the same time starting a first play through of FF13. It was while playing these three RPG's that I realized just how much the focus in all of them varies. In Skyrim you are the only person who can stop the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy that say that a dragon will destroy the world (real original, by the way), but you can completely ignore this responsibility by wandering around the wilderness catching butterfly's, and killing bunny wabbits. This game, like most sandbox games, lacks a certain amount of focus on the story, and goal of the game by allowing this, but gives the player the ability to do almost anything they want to do. Meanwhile in Final Fantasy 13 the party has been cursed by some great magical being, and have to complete a certain goal in order to keep from turning into terrible creatures, this is what you spend the entire game doing. This game is very focused, but at the expense of player choice, there are no dialogue choices (that I've seen so far), no optional path, no NPC interaction outside cutscenes, and you are constantly being pushed down an annoyingly long hallway. And in Dragon Age: Origins your character is part of an ancient order of warriors who are the only ones who can save the world from the evil creatures known as the darkspawn (yes, that really is what there are called, and again, real original), this is the primary goal of the game, but on the way to accomplishing this goal you run across a number of snags. Your entire order is betrayed by a general who then plunges the kingdom into a civil war, the only way to stop the darkspawn is if the land is united against them, so you have to start a recruitment drive for your own army to take on the general's army. This simple sounding goal leads you across the entire kingdom to haunted forests, a giant tower that is overrun by demon, a massive underground city, and so on. Whil you do this you can also choose to help towns with bandit troubles, food shortages, and acquiring armaments to to protect themselves with. This game is, once again very focused, and has a very clear goal, but that goal is constantly getting side tracked by other goal that lead to the main one, along with various side quest's, and fairly open maps. My question to all of you is this: Do you prefer a game that is very focused like FF13, a game that lacks much focus in favor of player choice like Skyrim, or a game like DA:O that is a mix of the two? Leave your opinions below.