|Dragon Age Official Forum Highlights & Comments For select forum posts by the game developers collected from the official Dragon Age forums, as well as comments on them. All the news items posted here also appear on the DA official forum news page of Sorcerer's Place.|
|Sun, 29th Aug '04, 1:37pm||#1|
Here are today's Dragon Age forum highlights, collected by NWVault. Please take into account that these are only single parts of various threads and should not be taken out of context. Bear in mind also that the posts presented here are copied as-is, and that any bad spelling and grammar does not get corrected on our end.
Georg Zoeller, Designer
How about... ahem... riders?
If for no other reason, Bioware Needs to include mounts BECAUSE WE WANT THEM.
That's a good one. I'm all for putting features the community likes into a game, even horses, but unfortunately you can put nearly any feature on the table (or forum) and ask
Would you like this one?
And the answer would be
Sure as hell.
So in the end nothing has been gained because you are stuck to make a decision again which of those hundreds of sweet features you want to include, and for that it is common sense to include the ones you need for your campaign first.
By the way, things like "if you guys don't do this, I won'y buy your game" are about as effective in convincing anyone as "i'll quit" threads in an MMORPG forum.
If you want to take a stand for horses, I'd suggest not using that route and NOT exclaiming how importent they are for persistent worlds, because that's not the things we are primary concerned about. I've seen people using much sneakier arguments for their cases
Kind of seems like Horses is one of the features that people seem to want though, funny that the developers done seem think so!
You posted already times about this and send me one PM ranting about it. We don't contest that "people" want horses, but "people" want to win in lotto, "people" want to have free beer and so on.
Some "people" want a supported PW toolkit - we make story driven RPGs with multiplayer component and toolset, not supported PW toolkits. These people need to look somewhere else.
It's not the question what "people" want, it's a question what game we want to make and what we think our target audience expects from a BioWare game. "people" may or may not fall into that category. I don't contest that a lot people in the target audience would say "cool, horses" - but it's not that important, sorry. Horses don't sell games.
But then a gain from what I can tell, Bioware does really want to support Persistant Worlds in Dragon Age, and they only want to sell us a Single play module, And that is the REAL REASON THEY DONT WANT TO BOTHER GIVING US HORSES!!!!
To make it really easy:
A) we have no plans for official PW support.
B) that we have no plans for official PW support is not a reason pro or contra horses. No decision on the topic has been made so far, and if one is made, it will be made on basis of other, more important factors, such as "do they fit into our campaign", "do they add enough to our campaign to justify implementation cost" or "do they add enough to our multiplayer campaign to justify cutting another cool feature" or "are horses as cool as feature X"
Sorry, if you think it's "you get no horses because you don't get PWs", then you are still not understanding the message. PWs will not be officially supported because DA has a different design focus. Horses may or may not be in depending on how important we think they are. Both issues have nothing to do with each other.
Face it, if we would think there was a critical mass out there that would buy an RPG because horses and wouldn't buy it if it hadnt', we'd probably say "right, we'll have horses" right away. Since we are saying "let's wait and see", it must mean that there isn't a critical mass for that feature out there that makes it "a must". And no, crying lound on the forums won't change that impression, we can see the difference between the opinion of a vocal faction and reality fairly well.
I'm not contesting that people love horses in a game or that you can do really cool stuff with them - but as said before, "people" want horses, cloaks, pw support, a cool singleplayer campaign, a powerful toolset, an easy to use toolset, downloadable hakpaks, cloaks, robes, thousands of weapons, free beer in a box ... you get it.
Bottomline: It's not been decided yet, but it's not a "must have" feature.
Well, Gieorgie, if you want really epic battles having your character leading a vanguard attack on a horse, charging intot he ranks of the endless horde of enemies would definite have a dramatic story effect.
I completely agree ... nothing like a good horse charge in Medieval - Total War. Would make some great cutscenes.
Hey GZ, whilst/if you're reading this thread.. how about you save time and include a female elf like barbarian that killed all the horses ages ago?
Ultima IX did that, they just strung up horse corpses anywhere after people asked the "will it have horses" questions too many times
The one feature that i dont want to see in DA
Here would be a Novel concept for a company... To sell people what they want, not what they want to sell people
It's common sense to sell people what they want (even if they don't know it yet), but the definiton of people is the deciding point here. For us, it's important to make a game that's especially appealing to our core audience, the people who buy the most copies.
Look at it like going to a car dealer and asking for a bike ... just because you happen to want one, it's somewhat unlikely that the car dealer will spend much time in getting you the bike (maybe if you happen to offer a lot of money for that service or offer to buy hundreds of bikes... ), it's not his business. He'll nicely refer you to the bike shop around the corner. Sure, it might be the best car dealer in town, and you really would like him to sell you a bike, because he offers great prices, service, whatever, it still won't happen.
I guess realizing that the "people" might or might not include oneself is one of the more enlightening experiences on internet boards .
Now I may be wrong about your core audience, but I would assume, that the majority is above 18, the majority have played PnP D&D, the majority have play a MMorpg, and the majority have either tryed to use the toolset and failed, and the majority have at leasted tryed to find a PW inwhich to play NWN in.
Yea, you are wrong, totally.
The overwhelming majority of people that buy BioWare games never even try multiplayer. Talk about 70-80% singleplayer only.
MMORPGs: Go out, check the american and european subscriber numbers of the top games and compare them against the sold units of Baldurs gate to get an idea of how large/small the MMORPG market is. MMORPGs are ONE aspect of internet multiplayer games, and not the largest one.
Toolset: I wonder where you get this "majority used the toolset and failed thing". a) The majority of people did probably not even touch the toolset, b) this is totally expected. You don't need a majority to use the toolset, you need a certain faction of the community to use it and produce content for the rest. The toolset with NWN is considered a huge success here and probably more people use it than expected. Same will be for the Toolset in DA - it won't magically be appealing to people who don't like game design or who rather play with the game - it should be applealing to people who like that kind of stuff and who enjoy creating content that other people play.
PW: The majority of people didn't even try multiplayer in our game - they looks for a BioWare game and expects "good singleplayer campaign" and don't press the multiplayer button. The majority of people who tried multiplayer didn't play PW at all but a couple of modules.
A sizeable part of today's NWN community today, 2 years after release, are hooked on PWs, but that's to be expected as those people are "hardcore" audience and PWs by design keep people involved in social networks while people who play casual multiplayer will drop a game after a couple of month. PWs are, by design, only interesting to a certain part of the community - there are a lot of other factions, and the largest is the "play a couple of games and then drop the game" one. PWs need a time investment not many people want or can bring.
D&D: has nothing to do with persistent worlds in the first place. There is not even a D&D MMORPG out there at this point (through there will be). D&D stands for story driven campaigns with a small group of people in the first place.
As said before: If you are looking for Ultima Online from BioWare or a supported toolkit to allow people to build their own MMORPG you are at the wrong shop.
So why so aggressive about "PWs will not be officially supported" ?
I've seen enough people in NWN *** about how BioWare broke their promise to support PWs. A promise that was never given of course, it always had been "it's not supported but you might be able to do it", and apparently that wasn't strong enough to prevent some people from building up enough expectation to feel let down later - we'd like to avoid that with DA.
We don't prevent people from building their own game experience with our toolsets, but for an officially supported PW toolkit, they will have to look somewhere else. Period.
I have used the tool set, I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours using the tool set trying to create PW for you, no my PW is not online, I am now inbetween a rock and a hard place, do I finish my PW and hopefully provide any one in the world the opportunity to enjoy it? just to have NWN die as soon as DA come available? and have to start over? then find that DA has all the same problems that NWN has in creating something for you to play in? Just curious!
DA is not out for a very long time, and NWN is still going strong, so whatever you do is completely up to you.
However if you create a PW in the NWN toolset, remember that whatever trouble you encounter when using it, it's to be expected, it's not a PW toolkit, it's a "build your own forgotten realms module" toolset.
There was a time that the technology was not sufficient for people to run Persistant Online Worlds and so they were not able to, and didnt. That Day has passed. Bioware has created a tool which makes it possible to do such, but for some reason seems to show little inclanation if finishing the job. Its kind of like they are a car dealer with a really nice car to sell, yet refuse to put a transmission in it! PLEASE !!! Install the TRANSMISSION!!
For the last time - no. We don't sell supported PW toolkits, you need to look somewhere else, it's not our business.
We happened to make a Toolset for NWN that could be used to create small scale persistent worlds, so people seem to expect us to get further down that road, but it's not something we want to do with DA. Maybe another game in the future, who knows, but DA will not provide any official PW support, sorry.
You guys have had articles about PW's for quite a few Bio Wednesdays in a row now, so that does mean some kind of support I guess.
But that's not what I mean with "officially supported". "Officially supported" means that we would have to care for problems people have when using a system that was written for campaign gaming to create huge worlds. NWN may be flexible enough allow all kinds of things, but it will inevitably run into problems we are not interested to fix as they would require significant changes to the framework.
We might, as NWN continues to be supported, throw one or another bone for the PW people by adding or changing things that help them, as they are a sizeable part of NWNs remaining multiplayer people, but that has nothing to do with DA.
ILR was (IIRC) part of the D&D 3 ruleset. In that setting it had more to do with being a guideline to stem the tide of munchkins than it was a Local Vault issue.
If you have server vault, it's up to the admin/game master to decide game balance. Only because everyone could bring their character to LocalVault servers you would need some kind of check like this to ensure fairness but since it's a computer system it won't adapt and needs constant attention to cope with people who try to circumvent it/
IRL has absolutely nothing to do with D&D, there are not restrictions on what characters can wear or wield in D&D, that's handled by the DM.
Does Bioware look at Competition
There is a game that I hope that at least someone from Bioware has played, and that is Ultima Online. While I have not played it for several years, the game had ( dont know what it is currently doing as they game went down hill instead of getting better as they made it more and more Monty Haul ) many good aspects which was superior how many things were done in NWN. hopefully they will at least look at UO and take some of the good things from it and implement it into DA
I played UO in it's early days ("Welcome to Britannia, home of PKs" )
However DA is not going to be an MMORPG, so lessons that could be applied from Ultima Online are limited.
alignments? equal play and storyline for evil
I wouldn't expect something like two completely different storylines, one for good, one for evil. Not only it would make evolving your character impossible (i.e. changing your heart from good to evil at some point during the campaign), it would also cause the main campaign to be 50% shorter as we would have to create two campaigns with the same amount of zots.
If you are asking for "better", more meaninful evil options and consequences for your actions (not just evil ones), I think you'll be pleased to see what our writers can come up with when they don't have to worry about licenses and their restrictions
Don't give too much away now
Which is why you won't get a detailed answer on this post