Dragon Age... 10 replies

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Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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#1 2 months ago

It's supposed to be one of the modern-ish classics among RPGs if I'm not mistaken. I just started playing the series and finished the main campaign about a week ago. I played on normal difficulty which was no trivial task for me. It seems like the kind of game that was meant to be played again after a first playthrough to get a feel for the game. 

There definitely seems to be specifically intended order to progress through the game - the first area I went was an absolute nightmare in terms of difficulty and during the final boss battle I had to lower the difficulty. After that, I seem to have corrected myself, as the 2nd area was an absolute cakewalk and subsequent areas felt more doable. But the game felt overall unbalanced. 

Every fight felt like a boss fight and boss fights were often underwhelming in comparison. A lot of the time I ended up winning a fight by exploiting corridors (i.e. aggro'ing the opponents then running back to a narrow hallway and letting my mage cast spells that caused large damage to the clump of enemies). In another fight I gave up trying to win in an honorable fight after the 5th or so attempt by having the boss chase my main character around the room for 5 minutes while my last standing mage did minute amounts of damage to it. 

I am sure I might have a somewhat better experience by playing through again and experimenting with different character builds - distributing character points to attributes and skills differently, but there is 0 motivation for me to play through the game again. Friends who  play this type of game criticize games like TW3 for being too casual with no combat depth, and while I agree to some extent, I don't see how this is any better. 

You either gotta go through a strategy guide that tells you what each attribute does and how it works in combat as the in-game help is very vague about how the combat system works, or you gotta go through extensive trial-and-error to figure it out. And it's not even like you can significantly correct your course when you  realize you've  screwed up halfway through. So what do you do? Full restart? Lower difficulty level? Either way you feel like you've lost. 

My build in particular was an archer build. Was pretty good early game, but as the game progressed it became weaker and weaker to the point where switching to malee weapons dealt 2x-3x more damage per time. Opponent archers are ok because they all have special abilities that compound very quickly when you get 5-6 of them together, but a single archer? Power use gets kinda useless with that. But I didn't think that through initially and ended up with a main character that felt kinda underpowered by the end of the game. 

Have you all played the game series? Thoughts on the gameplay, the story, etc. more than 10 years later?




Mikey Über Admin

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#2 2 months ago

I've not played Dragon Age, I have wanted to but it does feel daunting. I know nothing of the story and nothing really entices me in.

I was the same about The Witcher 3, but after being gifted that I played it and it's by far one of the best games I've played in a really long time.

Your review doesn't really make me want to play Dragon Age, especially as I'd be starting at the beginning and I'd have to try to catch up to the games. Always feels like work to me.


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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#3 2 months ago

It's difficult to recommend the original Dragon Age at this particular point. The original was, for its time, a good RPG in the classic Baldur's Gate style - but certainly it was easy to make a character that was... messed up. You could do some hideous things with magic if you'd played it before, but... yeah.

It's a bit like recommending Neverwinter Nights. It hasn't aged as well as memory might suggest.

The most recent Dragon Age doesn't really require much of a familiarity with the stories of the other two to have fun with, I think. Certainly no more than the Witcher 3 - and maybe even less. But there's more grinding than I might prefer... very cautious recommendation there? Like there's a bunch of hours you can sink into it at the start that aren't particularly fantastic. Theoretically you can go to other areas, but it's easy to end up under-levelled there unless you've put a bunch of time into the starting area, which is inexplicably the most boring area of the game.


If you're looking for a good RPG in the classic vein these days I'd be most inclined to recommend Divinity 2, or the second Pillars game (didn't care for the mechanics in the first one, although the second has been tightened up.) 




Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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#4 2 months ago
Posted by Mikey

I've not played Dragon Age, I have wanted to but it does feel daunting. I know nothing of the story and nothing really entices me in.

I was the same about The Witcher 3, but after being gifted that I played it and it's by far one of the best games I've played in a really long time.

Your review doesn't really make me want to play Dragon Age, especially as I'd be starting at the beginning and I'd have to try to catch up to the games. Always feels like work to me.

Yeah after playing TW3 I would give the story of Dragon Age 1 a 6/10. Maybe a 7/10 because the writing makes up for some of the generic nature of the story. There's a few classic Bioware puzzles and other tidbits that stand out, but I'm not sure if I'd go back in time and play it again knowing what I know now.

Posted by Nemmerle

It's difficult to recommend the original Dragon Age at this particular point. The original was, for its time, a good RPG in the classic Baldur's Gate style - but certainly it was easy to make a character that was... messed up. You could do some hideous things with magic if you'd played it before, but... yeah.

It's a bit like recommending Neverwinter Nights. It hasn't aged as well as memory might suggest.

The most recent Dragon Age doesn't really require much of a familiarity with the stories of the other two to have fun with, I think. Certainly no more than the Witcher 3 - and maybe even less. But there's more grinding than I might prefer... very cautious recommendation there? Like there's a bunch of hours you can sink into it at the start that aren't particularly fantastic. Theoretically you can go to other areas, but it's easy to end up under-levelled there unless you've put a bunch of time into the starting area, which is inexplicably the most boring area of the game.


If you're looking for a good RPG in the classic vein these days I'd be most inclined to recommend Divinity 2, or the second Pillars game (didn't care for the mechanics in the first one, although the second has been tightened up.) 

I may just set the difficulty to easy and blow throw the portions before Inquisition... The combat system was pretty thoroughly revamped in Inquisition if what I've heard is correct so I'll see about the grinding aspect again then. I may see about Divinity 2 as well, though to be honest I've been rather bored with video games as of late. I got up today and realized that after a long week of work, I wasn't particularly excited about doing anything with my free time, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I might be getting bored with my lifestyle. But I digress...





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#5 2 months ago
Posted by Superfluous Curmudgeon

I may just set the difficulty to easy and blow throw the portions before Inquisition... The combat system was pretty thoroughly revamped in Inquisition if what I've heard is correct so I'll see about the grinding aspect again then.

Yeah, the combat system's changed over all the games. In terms of accessible gameplay, DAI may be the best - although I really disliked losing a lot of control over my party member's abilities. Like, I'm the sort of person who likes multiple character's abilities hotkeyed.

Posted by Superfluous Curmudgeon

I may see about Divinity 2 as well, though to be honest I've been rather bored with video games as of late. I got up today and realized that after a long week of work, I wasn't particularly excited about doing anything with my free time, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I might be getting bored with my lifestyle. But I digress...

:( Hope you find something suitably fun soon! ^_^




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#6 1 month ago

Dragon Age: Origins was a great RPG in the tradition of DnD video games RPGs, so combat-heavy with a relatively complex system (compared to what you get nowadays with mainstream RPGs). But it doesn't take too long to figure out what works; there are some easy tactics that will get you through almost all fights. Mostly it involves disabling one opponent while taking on the others. 


It also had a pretty good story and well crafted setting. Lately there have been a bunch of new isometric RPGs that all got pretty decent reviews, not sure how it measures up against those, but it is probably fair to say that DA:O had some influence on the resurgence of RPGs as popular genre.




Last edited by MrFancypants 1 month ago

Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#7 1 month ago
Posted by MrFancypants

Dragon Age: Origins was a great RPG in the tradition of DnD video games RPGs, so combat-heavy with a relatively complex system (compared to what you get nowadays with mainstream RPGs). But it doesn't take too long to figure out what works; there are some easy tactics that will get you through almost all fights. Mostly it involves disablding one opponent while taking on the others. 



Cone of cold and walking bomb.   




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#8 1 month ago
Posted by Nemmerle
Posted by MrFancypants

Dragon Age: Origins was a great RPG in the tradition of DnD video games RPGs, so combat-heavy with a relatively complex system (compared to what you get nowadays with mainstream RPGs). But it doesn't take too long to figure out what works; there are some easy tactics that will get you through almost all fights. Mostly it involves disablding one opponent while taking on the others. 



Cone of cold and walking bomb.   

I also liked force field plus crushing prison. The spell-combos were a pretty nice feature, as were the finisher move animations :)


BTW, here is an old thread about the game:

https://www.gamefront.com/forums/gaming-modding/dragon-age-origins?page=1

From 8 years ago. We are old.




Mikey Über Admin

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#9 1 month ago
Posted by MrFancypants
Posted by Nemmerle
Posted by MrFancypants

Dragon Age: Origins was a great RPG in the tradition of DnD video games RPGs, so combat-heavy with a relatively complex system (compared to what you get nowadays with mainstream RPGs). But it doesn't take too long to figure out what works; there are some easy tactics that will get you through almost all fights. Mostly it involves disablding one opponent while taking on the others. 



Cone of cold and walking bomb.   

I also liked force field plus crushing prison. The spell-combos were a pretty nice feature, as were the finisher move animations :)


BTW, here is an old thread about the game:

https://www.gamefront.com/forums/gaming-modding/dragon-age-origins?page=1

From 8 years ago. We are old.


You know it   


Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer



Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

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#10 1 month ago

Creating an OP character by stacking bonuses seems to be  the way to go. In Awakening you can respec characters and so I did that - the result was that my archers dealt the most damage of my party. I should have bumped the difficulty up after this, but I just couldn't be bothered to actually have to try to win fights... Perhaps in Dragon Age 2 I'll ramp it up again. 


I think Awakening had a slightly more interesting story than the base game. I dunno - a good game to play if bored I guess?

My main party for most of the game consisted of me (archer), Nathaniel (archer), Velanna (mage), Ohgren (beserker) but later Justice. Me and Nathaniel had pretty much identical builds - throw all but the bare minimum for cunning and strength into dexterity and use accuracy for a huge dexterity-based damage boost. Ohgren I didn't really touch. Velanna was set up to deal a lot of spirit damage. Don't think she dealt as much damage as the archers even after that so probably would have focused more on crowd control and weakening enemies if I were to redo her. But even with that, the party was probably good to bump up the difficulty one or 2 notches. I don't know what people do with their character builds to be able to do solo nightmare playthroughs.

Oh, and here's a picture of my party at the keep. 


screenshot20180825121559547_by_seancsnm-dcl4n0m.jpg





Last edited by Superfluous Curmudgeon 1 month ago

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