I’ve been playing #DragonAge a week. Suddenly new EULA pops up when I launch it, and I have to agree to play? Pfft.
The discussion as to whether or not it’s enforceable or not is beside the point: This is simply no way to do business.
The whole thing has a sick, Kafkaesque flavor to it. Clumsy bureaucratic shackles are added to a simple economic transaction, presented in a way that most people can’t even understand. The company knows nobody reads the EULA, but they pay the lawyers to make one anyway. The lawyers know the thing is gibberish to the intended audience, but they write it anyway. The user knows it’s all a joke and it has no meaning to them, but they agree to it anyway. And the company knows that the user knows it’s all a joke.
Paying lawyers to draft unenforceable contracts for people who can’t understand them to perpetuate a system nobody takes seriously.
What a stupid waste of everyone’s time and money.
Except for the lawyers. I think they’re happy with the system.
Alistair from #DragonAge always makes me think of Webb from Mitchell and Webb. Which makes him even funnier.
I don’t know if it’s the voice or the accent, but in my mind Alistair is played by Webb.
|Alistair, you silly man. Of course we have a relationship. I’m letting you wear my Blood Dragon armor. That’s pretty much the same thing as sleeping together.|
Hey #DragonAge, I can SEE this tree thing is going to jump us in a couple of steps. No fair making it un-targetable now. Cheater.
This goes double for boss fights. As people have already mentioned, this game does not play fair. All too often bosses will be invulnerable until you chat them up, after which you will be surrounded, with the main character right in the center of the room. Hope you’re not playing a mage! Sucker.
It’s not a game-killer, but it is a sore spot whenever it happens. Setting up the perfect strategy or laying traps for your foes is part of the fun. It would actually be nice to be able to out-maneuver a boss instead of just out-drinking them in the potion chugging contest.
You can’t make a game like #DragonAge without paying tribute to the “gladiatorial arena” trope.
It’s been part of KOTOR, Jade Empire, Neverwinter Nights 2, Oblivion, Morrowwind, Fable, Fable 2, and probably a lot of other games I’m not thinking of at the moment.
A thieves’ den should not be larger and more populous than the city in which it’s based. #DragonAge
Ah. Another classic trope. Fighting through the thieves’ den in the Dwarven slums seemed to take forever. I was sick of killing hairy midgets before I even hit the halfway point. The final body count was greater than all of the visible population of all of the other Dwarven districts combined.
#DragonAge needs more “say NOTHING” options in dialog. Particularly when it would be inappropriate to speak anyway. (Dwarven Assembly.)
At several points in the game people turn to you and ask for you to “weigh in” on a discussion as to how a foe or prisoner should be treated or how a dispute should be settled. Then your answer overshadows everything that’s been said before and becomes law.
There is a dispute among the Dwarves, and I was really frustrated when I was denied the option to at least pretend to be a pragmatic or impartial party. I could only (enthusiastically) endorse A or B.
I had a greatly inflated impression of how long #DragonAge really is. I started over JUST BEFORE I entered the endgame. Shoulda kept going.
The structure of the game is straightforward:
1) Origin story, of which there are six. Play them all!
2) Secondary tutorial area, which introduces the main plot, establishes characters, and gets the characters into place for the big adventure.
These next steps can be done in any order, although some areas are easier than others and you’ll fare better if you can guess or intuit what order the designers intended.
3) Quest for the Mages.
4) Quest for the Human city.
5) Quest for the Elves.
6) Quest for the Dwarves
7) Quest to wrap up the lesser foe
8) Quest to beat the Big Bad
The second Act makes up probably 80% of the game. I didn’t know it, but I had just finished Act II when I started the game over. For some reason, I had simply assumed that Act III would be just as massive and involved as Act II, and that I was only halfway through the game.
Can’t stand Morrigan in #DragonAge, but her approval of my char is always the highest by far. Odd.
Morrigan is a venom-spitting shrew who will disapprove of you whenever you fail to act like a bootlick towards her and a jackass towards everyone else. However, you can leave her cranky ass at camp and bring her gifts, which will prevent her from seeing your non-jerk deeds and gradually improve her impression of you. In all of my trips through the game (now on my third, counting the one that ended at the start of Act III) her approval of me has always been the easiest to raise. Playing as a male it was even moreso.
|Morrigan, I don’t care how much of your boobs you show me, you’re still a rotten jerk.|
I can’t bear to sell this armor but I’m not using it now. Sten, you’ve just been promoted to coat-rack. #DragonAge
Mayor Murdock needs to pick one voice and stick with it. Keeps going from “Heavy Smoker” to “Smooth Baritone”.
The mayor of Redcliff starts out with a gruff lower-class accent but the odd line will be delivered in a different tone of voice with a different accent. I assume they brought back the voice actor at a later point and didn’t make sure the performances lined up.
Kind of unexpected, considering the truly stellar quality of the performances elsewhere. I wonder how this detail slipped by. (My guess: THIS GAME IS BIG.)
Shamus Plays WOW
Ever wondered what's in all those quest boxes you've never bothered to read? Get ready: They're more insane than you might expect.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
So what happens when a SOFTWARE engineer tries to review hardware? This. This happens.
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.
Push the Button!
Scenes from Half-Life 2:Episode 2, showing Gordon Freeman being a jerk.