Dragon Age Writer Calls BioWare Forums "Toxic"

Knight Templar

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Staal said:
Knight Templar's assertion that if a white person prefers a white romance option that they are racist
Read what I have actually said.

If you must intentionally and obviously lie about me to make any headway, then you need to stop and think if you have any ground to stand on at all.
 

Staal

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Knight Templar said:
Staal said:
Knight Templar's assertion that if a white person prefers a white romance option that they are racist
Read what I have actually said.

If you must intentionally and obviously lie about me to make any headway, then you need to stop and think if you have any ground to stand on at all.
No. Your defense that you used the term "borderline racist" instead of "racist" doesn't wash. You know exactly the impact and meaning for most people that the use of the word racist has whether it has an descriptive element or not. Your are implying that a white guy that prefers a white girl is fundamentally wrong. That is where you and I are at odds.
 

Knight Templar

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Staal said:
I have logically and clearly pointed out the inconsistencies in your argument so now you harp on about the exact definition of a word/phrase.
You have defined my position for me, that is not the same thing.
You cannot ignore the meaning of what I say and invent your own. So not only are you unable to understand what I say, but when it is explained to you, you do not care and would rather revel in your ignorance.



Semantics.
My words having a meaning that you ignore and fail to understand, is not semantics. And if it was doesn't matter you do not get to just pretend I said something else.
It doesn't work that way.


Semantics is very much at play when you are trying to label someone a bigot because they "demand" instead of "ask".
As I have said that is only part of it.

And yes different things deserve to be called different things. You cannot wish this fact away.



I have said repeatedly that "bi" issue makes little difference to me.
But it is the heart of the argument you are trying to defend, as well as the only argument you are able to put forth.


That is not what I said at all.
It is, the only thing you ever indicated was lazy was them being bi, the only issue you ever give to support your feelings is them being bi. and that was likewise the heart of the arguments you seek to defend.


it has nothing to do with the bi-option being present or not.
Then why is it the thing they you and the arguments you seek to defend bring up when talking about your dislike?




Hehe, nice. The hidden elitist is starting to show his head I think. Oh wait are you implying again that I am a x, y, z? See... this is all you guys got.
Says the man who just spent several posts consisting of little more than endless accusations against me.

And this from the guy that uses the word racist, knowing full well the connotation and impact of it, but wants to pretend that they did not imply racism at all?
I do not have to pretend anything. I used that phrase expressly because it did not say they were racist. You didn't understand what it meant. This is not an issue of mine.

I am sticking to the core of the matter, which is that you deny a white guy from wanting a white romance option.
How the fuck am I even doing that? I don't work at Bioware, I don't make games for anybody but myself.
And you know full well you are lying when you say this. The fucking gall.

Oh I thought that there was zero point the minute I read your first response. I have no expectation of convincing you of anything. People like you are quite tenacious in sticking to their self delusions. I am merely posting here so that others can see the fallacy and bigotry that you perpetuate and start thinking for themselves before they jump on the bandwagon.
Then you might want to attack positions I actually hold. Not the ones you wish I held.

Yeah, because it is an accurate description considering your thinly veiled dislike of white guys preferring white girls.
I never said that. I never implied that.
You are a factory of strawmen, it doesn't surprise me that you have never been talking with me in good faith.

It is also useful to show how meaningless the word has become since people like you use it at every opportunity to stifle opinions you don't like.
Pot to kettle.


Since you have in this post admitted to having never being willing to honestly engage with me, do not care what I say or what I mean and are seeking only to use me as some kind of bloody soapbox, then we are done here. I am extremely disappointed, because I did come into this thinking you wanted to have a real discussion.

People like you are why those forums are toxic. You've no interest in talking with someone, in learning or informing others. You just want to talk at a person and see what kind of reaction your can get. So there's the grant point for your crowd. Hope it was fucking worth it.
 

Delicious Anathema

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Message boards are sewers, get over it, none is better than the other. This comes from the guy whose game has gay people who hit on you, yeah right, must be seeing all the hate in the forums.

Don't ever expect communities or forums to be clean. It's not gonna happen.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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We were promised, promised, an epic ending to Shepard's Mass Effect story. Of course we are spewing vitriol, they lied to us. When someone lies to you, you have every right to be angry at them.
 

Scyla

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Aw man! I got quoted three times for a stupid joke and wasn't at home to respond :( .
 

Zero=Interrupt

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Staal said:
Maybe it has something to do with how BioWare has set itself up as preaching liberals wanting to enforce their world views on everyone else.
This is my main beef with Ninja Theory and their awful DmC game, right behind the (judging from the demo, now) terrible writing, boring gameplay, acid-palette levels, unintuitive controls, and shitty Dante redesign.
 

Shilkanni

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Bioware's forums used to be one of my favorite communities back in the days of Neverwinter Nights before the release of the first Dragon Age. This (BioWare situation) and thinking about DotA/MoBA-style games (how they always seem to have hostile communities) has got me thinking about whether you can make a pleasant community and if you can ever fix it once it goes sour. I don't think it's as simple as 'make better games'.
 
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stranamente said:
To be fair he also did this: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.274827-David-Gaider-says-Bioware-decides-what-dead-means-in-Dragon-Age-2?page=1 , that ended this way: http://social.bioware.com/%20http:/social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/304/index/6589945/10 .
I think it's fair to say that both parties have a fair share of blame.
I read through Gaiders comments. the guy seems to be an @sshole.
BW makes games we get invested in, tells us choices matter (big selling point), then this guy brushes off a recon like it's nothing. least he could do is reassure the fans it'll be well handled

PS i didnt last much more than 2 hours on DA2 before trading it, didnt not enjoy it, the retcon didnt effect me and i didnt know it exsisted before reading that thread
 

ReinWeisserRitter

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Damn near every online communication venue is a putrid example of how awful we can behave when we think there are no consequences for it. This is just one of the few people who actually have the balls to link their face and reputation to their honest opinion pointing it out.
 

kingthrall

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I dont even think he has been on the forums. He probably finally had ten minutes of free time clicked the general discussion in the forum and found out that nobody likes the garbage they have been pumping out for the past 8 or so years.

In comparison to BG.EE that has dont virtually nothing substantial yet has managed to keep alive and "enhance" nearly every aspect of the coding and aesthetics in every way.

I dont even remember the last time bioware released a good game. Need I prove their incompetence on gaming priorities on stupid decisions about whether to have gay party member romances instead of actual storylines that don't comprise a lord of the rings style plot.
 

LordDPS

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thanatos388 said:
LordDPS said:
I'll admit, Bioware fanboys are some of the worst forum goers around. Still, The way Bioware have been putting their fingers in their ears for the past 3 games whenever criticism rears it's ugly head shows how childish Bioware writers have become.
How have they been childish? They have listened and made changes to the ending over the controversy...why do people still care?
Easy, They keep peddleing bullshit like "artistic integrity" and refused to even try to listen to what people were saying. They didn't make ANY changes to the ending they just restored some stuff they cut out because they were too lazy to actually listen to fans. In fact http://www.gamesthirst.com/2012/03/25/mass-effect-3-writer-accuse-casey-hudson-of-going-it-alone-bioware-stays-silent/ Look at that article. It proves my point about Bioware's arrogance as of late.
 

cobra_ky

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Grey Carter said:
"I imagine that can happen to any online community," he continues. "Eventually the polite, reasonable folks stop feeling like it's a group of people they want to hang around. So they leave, and those who remain start to see only those who agree with them- and, because that's all they see, they think that's all there is. Everyone feels as they do, according to them. Once the tipping point is passed, you're left with the extremes... those who hate, and those who dislike the haters enough to endure the toxic atmosphere to try and combat them. Each clash between those groups drives more of the others away."
This is 100% true.

And it more or less perfectly describes what's happened to The Escapist.
 

ResonanceSD

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cobra_ky said:
Grey Carter said:
"I imagine that can happen to any online community," he continues. "Eventually the polite, reasonable folks stop feeling like it's a group of people they want to hang around. So they leave, and those who remain start to see only those who agree with them- and, because that's all they see, they think that's all there is. Everyone feels as they do, according to them. Once the tipping point is passed, you're left with the extremes... those who hate, and those who dislike the haters enough to endure the toxic atmosphere to try and combat them. Each clash between those groups drives more of the others away."
This is 100% true.

And it more or less perfectly describes what's happened to The Escapist.

He should love it here, this site gave Dragon Age 2 100% review and called it "the pinnacle of RPGs"


I mean, the users might get annoyed, but he'd be able to weather the storm. ME3 was the Escapist GOTY, so the BioWare card would easily defeat the attack from the users.
 

OldFogeyGamer

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Just had to register and comment after seeing this little gem:

"Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans."
I'm rather ambivalent about Gaider's statement. On one hand Bioware has obviously been trying to broaden its customer base by simplifying certain game designs, which naturally will alienate a segment of core fans, so what he says isn't untrue; but on the other hand it looks like he's framing the issue as a "new fans vs. core fans" problem, which is - for the lack of a better word - bullshit.

I was a core fan, I loved Dragon Age: Origins, but I also loved Jade Empire; I'm fine with classic RPGs or over-the-top action, I enjoy long, complicated stories as much as I do simple, bland ones; as long as the game is fun what does it matter?

But I'm disappointed when they release an buggy expansion (DA:O Awakenings) that's incompatible with their own DLCs and never patch it; I dislike it when marketing sells me what it claims to be a RPG with choices that matter and railroads me through over-the-top action where choices don't matter; I'm disgusted when they promise player agency for five years then end a trilogy with a few minutes of nonsensical monologue, a "Reaper off-switch" they said they wouldn't have, and a thinly disguised "door 1, 2, or 3" ending they claimed wouldn't happen... then turn around and try to claim they had "no idea" there was such a demand.

I don't believe it's about satisfying core fans. It's about honesty in both living up to ones promises and being up front with why those promises couldn't be met. If Bioware can't manage that, then the only fans they'll have left are the ones that make their forums so toxic.
 

Starke

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Bocaj2000 said:
The following includes a long debate. If you don't care, feel free to skip over it.
It's nice to know you think so highly of your own work.

EDIT: Don't spoiler out what you're doing unless it's an actual spoiler. It says "hey, whatever I'm doing isn't important enough to respond to, read, or regard", if you want to use spoiler tags to trim down the quote trees, that's fine, but blocking off your own work only makes people less likely to read what you're trying to say.

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
I owe you 72 bad MMOs? I'll just give you this: http://mmohuts.com/ Browse at your own pace. Trust me when I say that SWTOR is a top tier MMO, I have tried a LOT of them, including the ones you listed. And even though I agree with some of your choices, your reasons are inane and subjective. I hate to say, but I'm pretty much going to dismiss this section of your argument until you can give more legitimate reasons than "better combat" and frequent content.
More frequent content updates. You know, new things to do, new places to go, new people to kill, and turn upside down for loot. New content. Stuff most MMOs that actually want to keep subscribers turn out on a fairly regular basis.

As to better combat, combat that goes beyond standing in one place staring at someone waiting for cooldowns to finish. Hell, a quarter of the game's classes rely on literally NEVER moving in combat at all as a mechanic.
Thank you for expanding two for your opinions. Now I can continue to say how I still don't agree. SWTOR has had eight updates within the past year, all of which adding the content you speak of such as flash points and operations. Is that not enough?

As for combat: some people like that. I know it's hard to wrap your head around, but ability based combat has been around since the beginning of RPGs, and the same goes with cooldowns. You might prefer other styles of combat, but preference doesn't mean "bad". Final Fantasy games involve your characters just standing there waiting for a cooldown just to use a single ability, but they are well received (well, most of them).
Of course it's been around since the beginning for MMOs. MMOs were, at one time, designed with the intention of being played on a 56k modem, and the internet infrastructure wasn't advanced enough to handle more intricate combat systems.

Really, the earliest MMOs were just IRC chatrooms, it was only later that they managed to advance to the point of including a graphical world, and with it the cooldown wait. Thing is, it was 2011, and TOR implemented a design decision from 1999. A decision that was predicated on the internet infrastructure of the late 90s. Anyone who can look at DCUO's combat, and then look at TOR's and say, "yep, TOR's got good combat" is either delusional, or in denial.

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Second, the ending. I don't care what Bioware said. Answer my questions and don't change the subject this time.
I didn't. And you may not care what Bioware said, but a lot of people did. If you can't understand how lying to people might produce a certain level of dissatisfaction, then I'm pretty sure I can't help you.
I'm not talking about lies. I'm talking about quality. You dodged the question again.
No, I didn't, let's go back and look at what you wrote again, since this seems to be a consistent problem.

Bocaj2000 said:
-ME3 ending sucks? Where were you during Deus Ex: Human Revolution's complaints? Or Uncharted 3? LA Noir? KotOR 2? All of the others according to our subjective opinions? Where were their cupcakes? Should we revolt every time an ending isn't good enough? Does a denouement you don't want spoil the entire experience? What if I didn't like the ending to Legend of Grimrock? Does that discredit my entire experience? Should I spend countless hours bitching about it to strangers and hold a grudge against the people that made it?
So... hmm... no, I didn't dodge the question. Though to be fair, there are twelve questions there, some of them are almost worth answering, others are not. Unless you literally want me to tell you where I was. In which case the fault lies with your own writing skills, and not my extrapolating a question off that. The question you apparently asked was "why won't you just leave ME3 alone? Here look at this other shit, be mean to that instead!" Why ME3? Because the developers pissed people off. Can't understand that? Too fucking bad.

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
As to Deus Ex and Uncharted? That's like complaining that Doom 3 involves using a gun or that Tomb Raider expects you to play as a girl.
Words cannot even begin to describe how inaccurate and fallacious this statement is. How do you compare a bad ending to either of these? Mass Effect, Deus Ex, and Uncharted are all known for good writing. You honestly expected shitty endings from DE:HR and Uncharted 3, but not Mass Effect 3? Am I interpreting this unexplained quote correctly?
At this point, just based on prior evidence, I'd be inclined to say, no, you're not interpreting anything correctly. Including two of those games' reputations. It really is like the simile I made.

But, to be fair, no, I expected a shitty ending from ME3, I expected a shitty ending for ME3 back when I played the tutorial level of ME2, and in that regard I wasn't disappointed. But, a lot of people didn't figure it out for another two years, and they've got my sympathy, up to a point.

Bocaj2000 said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Third, sequels. What's your point? You just ranted on how you didn't like the Reaper larva. What does that have to do with what I said? You once again ignored what I said and ranted about something for no reason.
Okay... no, wait, then who wrote this?

Bocaj2000 said:
I don't like Mass Effect II as much as its predecessor, but that doesn't make it a bad game.
Oh, right, that would be you. So, no, I was talking about what you said. Exactly what you said. Again, I'm sorry, but if you don't know what you wrote, maybe you should reread it, or take notes, or something.

And here's the part that might confuse you a bit, I don't actually hate, or even dislike DA2.
You impress me. You can take a quote out of context. Unfortunately, this just shows that you have bad comprehension skills, so let me describe my paragraph for you:

The paragraph was about how many people will think that a game "sucks" because it isn't as good or doesn't have the same charm as the original. Many people who played Dragon Age II hated it because it didn't stand up to the original. The issue is that instead of voicing that as if it were preference, they voiced it as if it was the same quality as Big Rigs. Gamers tend to judge quality on binary without giving grey area; "If it's the best, then it sucks." They come off as childish and whiny.

I decided to support my claim with an example of my preference of ME1 over ME2. Both games are good. I can go on forever about why they are both good. But, I can also go on about why I like 1 better than 2. I am not here to talk about that though. That's another conversation for another day. It was no more than an example to support the main point.

Now that misunderstanding is out of the way, you can finally... never mind. You don't hate Dragon Age II. I think you actually agree with me on this point. If only you could understand what I was trying to say in the first place so we could avoid this cluster-fuck.
Oh, I do understand that.

Unrelated, there's an element in writing you need to deal with, even just arguments, the distinction between what you intend, and what you put on the page. I've been responding to what you put on the page, and while your writing needs work, you've had a pretty hard time going back and realizing what exists in the text vs. what you've got in your head.

In particular your second point really suffers from this. You don't know what you asked. I mean, you think you know what you asked, and you have a question in your mind, but when someone answers that, you say "Nooo, that's not what I meant, go back, do better! :("

Bocaj2000 said:
Starke said:
Bocaj2000 said:
Lastly, your clever comment at the end... all you did was prove my point. You don't care what I have to say; you just want to complain. I wasn't expecting to agree with you; I wasn't even expecting you to be polite. But I expected that you would at least answer my questions.
Did you now? So, you knew I was going to post, how interesting. Well, as we established I did answer your questions, and, while I wasn't terribly polite, you still haven't answered your own question there: Why are you typing? Especially if you actually think no one cares. If it's not looking for someone who has an opinion they can back with evidence, I really can't tell you.
I knew that someone was going to respond eventually. And I kinda lied. I was expecting fallacious arguments and question dodging. I thank you for this post. It offered much more clarity on what you were thinking so that I can get one step closer to proper answers. So far, with the exception of the SWTOR comments, you have been answering your own questions and ignoring mine. You're a lot like a politician in that sense. However, unlike politicians, you haven't been able to back your claims up.
No, on that front, mostly, the problem's been you haven't been asking the questions you wanted to ask. I already went over this, but you have a question in your head. And if you'd get that onto the page, I'd respond, but until that happens we're both left with questions like, "Where were you when the uproar happened over the ending of Kotor 2?" Well, Iowa. But that's not the question you wanted to ask. It's not the answer you're looking for, and until you can actually articulate the question you want to ask, you're not going to get questions that have much of anything to do with what's going on in your head.

Bocaj2000 said:
You do pose an interesting question, though. Why am I doing this? Why am I arguing with someone over the internet despite knowing that I won't change anyone's minds or get them to acknowledge my opinion? I enjoy a exchanging information and getting to know the other side's opinion. I enjoy getting through the fallacies and getting straight to the real answer. I see the exchanging of ideas, whether I agree or not, as a potential growing experience for both parties. So there you go: the reasons I debate is to learn and grow, and because I enjoy deconstructing bad arguments in order to get to the truth.
Then take some time, and learn how to write clearly and concisely. If you're bringing up an example, don't just bring it up because it's out there, and you don't know why. Seriously, the list of game endings is an example. Don't bring up ME2 in your DA2 commentary, why? Because some smartass will slap you down for it.
 

Starke

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Staal said:
Starke said:
To be fair, a lot of your posts read like "unthinking aggression", so there's a bit of a paradox here. And I'm not trying to be my normal abrasive jackass self here.
I don't see where I have been unthinkingly aggressive. My stance is everyone is allowed to want themselves, their identity, represented in the game. Knight Templar's assertion that if a white person prefers a white romance option that they are racist qualifies quite clearly as "unthinking aggression" and bigotry.
I said "reads like", not "your posts demonstrate," or "your posts are filled with", and (with apologies to Knight Templar, as I haven't read all of your debate), what seems to be going on is the way you're writing your posts makes it look like you're coming at it from the whole "racial purity" angle.

Also, it's important to remember there are still people out there, on the internet and in the world, who were raised by actual racists, and believe that ethnically mixed relationships are a sin, and that there's nothing wrong, whatsoever, with discriminating against them.

Hence the "borderline racist" comments. You're walking a very fine line, appearing to be a part of that group, whatever your intentions.

Staal said:
I am merely holding up the mirror to those people who like to hold themselves up to be the enemy of bigotry all the while perpetuating a disdain for another group. I have adequately explained myself. If you refuse to accept the clear cut logical fallacy that Knight Templar is perpetuating well... I can't force you. But hopefully others that read this will think for themselves instead of jumping on the bandwagon.
Can you be xenophobic against the xenophobes?

Okay, but honestly, we do that anyway. I mean, I got flippant earlier, but here's the thing: We have cultural norms. We always have cultural norms. It's a function of society. This is right and that is wrong. It's not okay to kill someone and take their stuff, it is okay to defend yourself from someone else who is trying to kill you and take your stuff.

Things get viciously complicated when you have conflicting norms. You can see this today... well, I was going to bring up an independent example, but let's use your argument.

We've got people who were raised with a racist outlook, that say any relationship outside your own ethnicity is wrong. We've got people who were raised in cosmopolitan environments, where they were interacting with multiple cultures their entire life. For both groups, what the other is doing, on a regular basis, is something their norms term as wrong. We've got the people saying, it has to be with your own race, and you've got the people saying discriminating against someone is wrong.

Now, I know I'm being a bit basic here, but the crux is, you appear to be in the camp of "relationships outside your ethnicity is wrong", even though your point is a little more nuanced than that. Unfortunately, because there is a kind of binary decision people, as a whole, tend to assign to cultural norms, it ends up with you being painted with the, "oh, here's another racist" brush, even if that's not the case.

On the subject of DA2, there's probably a glib, "freedom is the freedom to be alone" crap, but, and this probably won't be a satisfying answer for you, but: DA2 gives you the option of a relationship with Isabella, it doesn't force you into a relationship with anyone... except Anders trying to jump you, and that was weird for many reasons. If the game was formatted so that you needed to be in a relationship with someone, your argument would probably be a bit less... let's say dubious sounding.

Staal said:
Starke said:
Though, you're actually bringing up two separate issues, a lot of mainstream media, at least in the US, has had an agenda of reducing xenophobia, and honestly, this has been going on for decades. It's been one of the most prominent focuses of science fiction since the genre's inception, and continues to be. I probably shouldn't call it an "agenda", but the senseless xenophobia in culture at large is something many writers have felt the need to speak out against, and because of cultural norms, they find themselves needing to speak out against it in an artificial context.
It still doesn't excuse BioWare's horrid response to legitimate complaints about their product.
Yeah, there are a lot of flaws with, well, most... no, every game Bioware's released since ME1. DA2 suffered from a hideously fast turnaround, to the point that there was a rumor going around a while ago that the version which shipped as retail was an alpha build.

That said, this is literally the first time I've seen someone complain about the absence of a same ethnicity romance in it. So, that's not one of the more common complaints.

Staal said:
Starke said:
This gets into your comment about complaining about not having a romantic partner in Dragon Age 2 who is the same race as your protagonist... except, that's not true, there is one. Isabella. Because, skin color is incidental in DA2, for the game's context, the interracial relationship is with Merril or Fenris, because they're elves, and Hawke is human.
People still experience the game with their real life identity as a yardstick. It is exactly the same as saying a gay guy is not allowed to request a gay option in a game where there was none. For example, I saw on the Witcher 2 forum that someone asked whether a gay option would ever be included. Would it be ok to label him as a bigot? People identify with what they are themselves. That goes equally for skin/eye/hair colour, sexual orientation, religion, place of birth, shoe size etc. You cannot say one group can ask for their inclusion but another cannot. That is the hypocritical bigotry that I have just about enough of.
The Witcher is a bit of a different case though. Geralt is a literary character (using the term loosely), and the Witcher games are licensed games. There is already a canonical Geralt, who, while promiscuous, isn't bisexual. What's more, Geralt is a genetically engineered albino... saying you identify with him wouldn't be that far off saying you identify yourself with 47 from the Hitman games (if 47 actually had a personality).

If you actually want to attack CD Projekt (or, for that matter, IO Interactive) for being bigots, or at least misogynistic, you've probably got a lot of fuel to do it.

As to everything else? Fereldans are pretty consistently established as being Dragon Age's equivalent of Scottish so unless you're actually from Scottish ancestry, saying, it needs to match my identity doesn't quite work. The fact is, when it comes to RPGs, players assume an external role and take on an identity that, by definition, is not their own.

What's more excluding groups is a major chunk of what's going on. Even within the context of 12th century Europe, which DA is drawing on, there are a number of cultures that are conspicuously absent. And, while you can say it's unfortunate that you can't play exactly who you want to be, I'd point at my GF, who can't even play her own gender in the Witcher games, and say, she might have a stronger argument to make.

Staal said:
Starke said:
Where DA2 (and for that matter, Dragon Age Origins) talk about race and religion is through the use of fantasy races, the Qunari, the Elves, and the Dwarves, instead of through our preconceived notions of what race is or isn't.
This is what I mean. Previous comment you say "skin colour is incidental". I don't agree but I am happy to accept it for arguments sake. But that leads us to the following... If skin colour in the game has no meaning because it is represented by Elves are you saying that it would be alright that all human characters in the game are white? And that if anyone complains about it they are bigots?
No, or at least not exactly. Dragon Age actually has a pretty heavy focus on bigotry, both racially, religiously, and economically (or politically, I'm not 100% sure which was intended). It's actually deliberately an element of the setting. Humans are racist against the Elves, Dwarves exploit each other along class and caste lines, and Templars are bigots when dealing with the Mages.

In this sense, skin color is incidental, that is to say, it's not an element of the racism going on in the setting. The setting wants to talk about racism, but feels the need to filter it through a different context. It wants to talk about religious oppression, but feels it can't do that without creating an artificial system to partially justify it.

Within that context, the player is presented with Isabela as a human love interest, rather than, "oh, we need to offer a Caucasian looking love interest."

Staal said:
You can't butter your bread on both sides.
You actually can, and it's delicious. Easiest way is melt the butter in a pan, sop the bread in it and eat it while it's still warm. :p

I do know what you mean, though.