Thursday, March 22


Another Open Letter To Bioware

And specifically to Mark Darrah:
Maybe I should just put a stop to something right now.
We ARE NOT going to:
* Burn DA2 to the ground
* Pretend it doesn't exists
* etc...
I am proud of what DA2 accomplished in several areas. It is certainly not without flaws.
We have things to learn from BOTH Dragon Age games as well as other titles.
Starting your post by telling me to ignore the hard work of over a hundred people is NOT a good way to start a dialogue with me.
Grow up, Mark.  

You just cancelled all future DLC and expansion packs for Dragon Age II, but you still haven't learned your lesson.  Dragon Age II is not a particularly good game.  While it's not awful in itself, it is awful in that it trashes the legacy of one of the best games of all time.  It is not in any sense a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins.

This is real life.  You don't get a reward for showing up.  You don't even get a reward for working hard.  You get a reward for results.

The right thing to do - and the sales figures and the cancelled projects clearly bear this out - is to abandon Dragon Age II completely.  Burn it to the ground, sow the ground with salt, and forget it ever existed.  So a hundred people worked hard on it?  I don't care.  What they produced is no good.

You do have things to learn from both games, but the lessons are very simple:

From Dragon Age: Origins: Do this.
From Dragon Age II: Don't do this.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:00 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 Honestly, it would take an absolute tour de force for me to pick up another Dragon Age game. The first one was all right, in the sense that it wasn't offensively bad, but it was lousy enough that I just plain let it go without even bothering to finish it. The second one I avoided based on that, and to hear tell, it was so bad that even people who thought the first one was one of the best games of all time would like to burn it to the ground and sow the ruins with salt.

There have been games where the second one was garbage but the third one was such a good game that I took a risk on it (Deus Ex is the only recent one I can think of, though).

Honestly, I think everyone's fixation on DLC as the Big Focus is detrimental in the long term. A good game needs to be good without DLC. I've picked up DLC for Civ 5 because the base game was really good, and the DLC for Fallout NV was generally good (not uniformly so, but the highs were quite high). But if the base game isn't much to talk about, I don't think "gee, maybe I should sink ten more bucks into it and get that extra mission pack"...

So who cares if they burn DA2 to the ground or create a monument to its awfulness and carefully tend the lawn for a hundred years? Unless they suddenly remember how to make a really, really great game, I won't be back anyway.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Thursday, March 22 2012 01:49 PM (pWQz4)

2 I can understand not everyone enjoying Dragon Age: Origins.  It has some real problems with pacing; the beginning is slow, some parts in the middle seem interminable, and the ending is very rushed.  But the story and the characters really clicked for me.  I was sad to see the game end; I'd spent over 80 hours playing it and still wanted more.  And I was dead.  Well, my character.  To be honest, me as well.
Fortunately, Dragon Age II came out about the same time I finished Dragon Age: Origins.  So I pre-ordered it, installed it, fired it up, and...

Nyrrgh.  Just...  I don't think any adults were involved in the direction of the project.  It's that inept.  Technically fine, but the storytelling is what you'd expect from an over-excited five-year-old.  Confused and disjointed and ultimately pointless.  Could have been a fun snack while waiting for the real next entry in the Dragon Age saga, but as Dragon Age II?  No.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, March 22 2012 03:11 PM (PiXy!)

3  Pardon me for asking, but what does "DLC" stand for?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Thursday, March 22 2012 03:51 PM (+rSRq)

4 Downloadable content.  That is, an add-on to the game that's smaller than a full expansion pack.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, March 22 2012 04:17 PM (PiXy!)

5 Downloadable content should be a nice to have. Especially if its paid. Its a cool extra.
But it shouldn't be a way of extracting more money from players. The insistence in marketing add ons to new releases. Special editions for specific retailers. 
I want to play a game. Not spend hours maintaining logins to access publishers websites for a virtual widget or skin in exchange for marketing blurb.
Bioware seem to be a little patchy lately. Mass Effect 3 seems to have earned the ire of players with its ending. To the point people are petitioning for a new ending.
But Old Republic seems to be going strong. Enough for Blizzard to feel that they're taking subscribers from WoW.

Posted by: Andrew at Thursday, March 22 2012 04:19 PM (PDuG2)

6 I have mixed feelings about DLC in roleplaying games.  I think a good RPG tells a single, cohesive story, and you can't just drop storybits into that and pretend it adds something.

On the other hand, The Stone Prisoner (Dragon Age: Origins) and Lair of the Shadow Broker (Mass Effect 2) were both beyond awesome, so...  

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, March 22 2012 08:13 PM (PiXy!)

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