When Dragon Age II Fell Apart

Nimzabaat

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I agree with everything in this post. I wouldn't let anyone who kidnapped one of my family live no matter their politics (in the context of the game that is). I also interpreted Hawke leaving Kirkwall and parting ways with his companions as "Screw this town! Everyone is stupid!" "Hawke, want to talk about Kirkwall?" "No! Don't even say the K word!"
 

tmande2nd

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Oct 20, 2010
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Its like I say:

Dragon Age 2 was not an RPG, simply a playable dramatic documentary like we seen on the BBC.

Its like being able to play Caesar...sure here or there in an game about Caesar you can make choices. But when it comes down to it Caesar still became the first Emperor of Rome, and died in the Senate.

For me DA2 did fall apart in act 3 chiefly because its run by the idiot ball, and not any human motivations anymore.
Hawke HAD to side with one or the other factions, in the overall lore of Dragon Age....but they went about it all wrong.

No consequences, no real choices, and a very pathetic idiotic final act.
It could have been done much better, but since it was not I will wait for DA3.
If as they say they are listening I will wait to see if DA3 gets better than DA2.

If they dont? Well then I can just weep that the company who brought me KoToR, Jade Empire, Baulders Gate, Origins, and Mass Effect 1 has come down to this.
 

cynicalsaint1

Salvation a la Mode
Apr 1, 2010
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Oh yay!
Another "Let's take a dump on DA2!" rant - because there are totally not enough of those yet ...

Don't get me wrong, I agree with a lot of what you're saying - yes the ending did seem rushed and that quest seemed stupid, but this is about the thousandth time I time I've heard pretty much this exact same rant.
 

OniaPL

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Nov 9, 2010
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I've beaten this horse to death already, so I'll just say "Dragon Age 2 is shit" and move on.

However, that was some good writing in my opinion. It was a pleasure to read. I'm no expert, but I know what I like.
 

jezcentral

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Nov 6, 2007
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I really enjoyed the game, and the party members made DA2 one of my games of 2011, but I have to admit the ending did collapse in on itself. I'm hoping the end was the bit that got rushed (especially in the light of Orsino's final actions, which made it look like initially-alternative end-bosses were instead both brought into the same storyline), but isn't the middle normally the bit that gets trimmed?

Maybe the three-act structure (plus prologue) meant that this couldn't be done without one of the acts seeming obviously short.

The DLC has been great, though. They seem to have learned their lesson, in the short form at least. They are going to have to work very hard to restore DA's reputation, with the third one coming out (hopefully not for a while yet).
 

krellen

Unrepentant Obsidian Fanboy
Jan 23, 2009
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It's interesting you pegged the narrative-fans as the DA2 defenders. In my mind, it's always been the opposite (as a traditional narrative fan, I was very displeased with Dragon Age 2, so much so that I found it literally impossible to replay the game because the story was so bad that I just did not care to see where my new choices took things.)
 

Seventh Actuality

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Why am I reading a whole article on the most simple, obvious flaw in DA2's story almost a full year after it came out?
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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Dennis Scimeca said:
When Dragon Age II Fell Apart

Dragon Age 2's story is just plain broken.

Read Full Article
There's one point in particular upon which I wholeheartedly agree: If you give the player the choice, you must honor it. The corollary, of course, is that if you're not going to honor the choice, just don't present it as a choice -- which isn't a bad thing, it's just being realistic and ensuring your game doesn't draw attention to its shortcomings.

I find it interesting that your misgivings about both this game and Skyrim sound very similar, but read quite differently. In both games, you feel your choices eventually proved not to matter. Dragon Age II countermanded them, while Skyrim simply failed to give them enough weight. Both problems are very valid, and I think they're both equal-but-opposite examples of over-balancing a particular equation:

The number of options you can offer is inversely proportionate to the impact each choice can have.

If you offer more choices, the impact of each must be toned down, so that they can be allowed to coexist in a way that makes internal sense. If you want choices to truly feel epic and world-defining, you need to carefully control how many branches that tree has.

The over-example of "too much weight" is a game that presents choices that have no impact on the ending. In a way, that's what DA2 did with this storyline for you. You played your character one way, and things seemed to be going well, and right at the end the game tells you, "Wrong! You're THIS now!"

And the over-example of "too many choices" is a game that allows you go in a million directions, each of them pretty underwhelming. And that's where Skyrim is for many people. You've rocketed to the forefront of X number of elite groups (some public, some secret), you've killed potentially hundreds of the most fearsome creatures known to man and orc alike, you were once and possibly still are a werewolf or vampire, and you've either ignited or stopped a full-scale war several times over... and the best you get is a few passing mentions in the NPC dialogue.

This means we've successfully defined the two extremes. Hopefully the next step is just dialing in the sweet spot between them...
 

Hoplon

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Mar 31, 2010
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Seventh Actuality said:
Why am I reading a whole article on the most simple, obvious flaw in DA2's story almost a full year after it came out?
I'm just glad you can read!

Possibly, and I am just using a drop of logic here, because people complained a lot about reuse of area's (which was terrible) and not enough about a story that should have been rich with choice but gave none. Such as having half a brain and being able to figure out what anders is up to but being unable to refuse him or do anything about it.
 

Xenominim

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Jan 11, 2011
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I think the other bit about the ending that ticked me off was the way they decided to link it to Act I with the Red Lyrium. I expected that to be a major portion of the story considering the way Act I ended with this thing spreading some great evil and doing all sorts of nasty work. And instead you find out Meridith made it into a sword just so there would be an excuse for her to be a stronger boss encounter than a dragon. That's literally the only reason for that thing's existence, yes presumably it made her insane and drove her to be harder on the mages, but none of those decisions actually seemed insane, just tyrannical, and at this point justifiable tyranny considering what has gone down. So it doesn't really help the story at all except to justify a boss encounter and you find out nothing else about it.
 

funksobeefy

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whoa spoilers! guess i just totally ruined Dragon Age 2 for myself. Oh well, I didnt like the game anyways

I do however agree with how the choices should matter, other wise why program them in. Ive had characters were every choice they have to make didnt represent them at all. Its stupid and the role playing falls apart at the seams. Potentially ruining the whole game if the mechanics are not up to snuff
 

1337mokro

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Tragedy =/= Illogical decisions.

Tragedy is when an event has unforeseen consequences that end up causing what you were trying to avoid.

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy.

Original Plan: Take poison, send letter to boyfriend, meet up with boyfriend, live happily ever after.
What happened: Poison is to strong, letter with secret plan gets intercepted, boyfriend kills himself in agony over his dead lover, double suicide because boyfriend is dead.

That is tragedy.

There is no tragedy in the exact opposite happening JUST to have the exact opposite happening. If there is no Logic there is no tragedy because in this case Both outcomes are equally true.

Meredith IS a maniacal racist and the mages ARE power hungry abominations. This is all disconnected from the choices you make so there is no tragedy. These are facts, not consequences.

What would have been a tragedy is for example by helping the mages you feed their rebellious thoughts, allowing evil spirits easier access into their minds. Thus surprising BOTH the mage circle and the templars when the mages start transforming. The mages see that there is a point in control and the templars see that repression breeds the very emotions that feed demons.

That is tragedy. Not what the game presented.

But here is the real reason Dragon Age 2 fell apart.

The Second Dungeon. It's a direct copy paste from the first. All interest in game GONE. If the devs are so lazy that the first two dungeons are clones I'm not gonna be excited for the rest.
 

Albino Boo

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Mamzelle_Kat said:
I hate to be that person but... Orsino, not Orsini. Orsino.
Its an easy mistake to make, Orsino Orsini lived in the late 15th Century. Shakespeare used the name is as you like it. I suspect given the nature of plots and counter plots in most of Shakespeare's work, the use of the name is a homage to where they borrowed the idea from.


Which brings me back on topic. I think, and its only a personal opinion here, that the endings are meant to be a tragedy. I think they fail in that aim but as least it shows ambition.
 

jezcentral

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@1337mokro

Sorry to be that guy but, technically, R&J is not a tragedy, just a tale of woe. :)

Tragedy requires a "fatal flaw" in the protagonist, that ends up destroying them. MacBeth, King Lear, Hamlet and Othello are tragedies. (Love for his wife, pride, indecision and jealousy, respectively).
 

Forst1999

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Mar 29, 2011
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Regarding "Best served Cold":
This quest follows on a quest where you have to hunt mages for Knight Commander Meredith. Two of these were a danger to the city, the third was not, you can tell Meredith he was killed to help him escape. It doesn't make a good impression however you handle it. And your last big acts of helping mages date back some years. Si i'd say that the rebellious templars suspect you of working for Meredith is not at all illogical. And as the leading mage of the group has personal problems with Hawke, the inability to defuse the hostage situation isn't either.
 

ms_sunlight

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1337mokro said:
Tragedy =/= Illogical decisions.

Tragedy is when an event has unforeseen consequences that end up causing what you were trying to avoid.
Actually, no, that's dramatic irony. Tragedy is simply when a narrative involves human suffering. So, Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, as you said, but so is La Boheme, where Mimi dies because she's got tuberculosis and not because of any ironic arrangement of circumstances.