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Old 03-19-2012, 06:13 PM   #41
ClannerDelta
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Yes, it's clearly nerds being too nerdy and not knowing what's best for them.

That or you take a relatively varied world with lots of ways to change it and switch it into a tiny, unchanging city where variety means... moar crypts and... oh look! Copy pasted caves! Fuck yeah, thanks Merril, Glad I got to come back to this spider infested shithole!
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #42
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@DoctorFinger - Have you talked to producers in the game industry at conventions? Basically for every $60 game sold, the publisher gets about $40. So 1.5 million means they brought in $60 million minus whatever they spent on development, distribution, and marketing. This was a speed job with very little marketing, so they could have made $30-50 million in profit with just 2 years on their investment . That's a tremendous ROI and absolutely no one at EA or Bioware is going to consider it a failure.

Plus, you act like the game was a train wreck when it got "great" scores. You could argue that merely getting great scores when the IP is known for excellent scores hurts the intellectual property, but I don't find that to be true. Nintendo pooped out some really average games with the Zelda name attached to them, and people still get excited when there is a new one announced - especially if it gets good scores. If DA 3 launches with DA2's combat system (or more likely an improved version of it) and a story as good as the original's, the IP will be stronger than ever.

I understand your disappointment though. If I'm really excited to go eat at my favorite pizza place and then they are closed, so we got to a great pizza place (but not my favorite), then it's very hard for me to enjoy great pizza.
Where exactly do you get this 66% profit margin on retail games? Because whoever told you that either got their translation wrong, or they're playing a prank. Here's what a publisher gets from a $60 game.


So they don't get $40, they get $27, which makes for gross revenue of $40.5M on 1.5M units. And if you notice "marketing" is not listed on that pie chart. I haven't been able to find any numbers on the sales, but I saw an absolute ton of TV ads for the game, in addition to all of the other ads: print, online, environmental, social, etc. Battlefield 3 had a marketing budget of $100M. If EA spent even a quarter of that on DA2, then you're left with $15.5 to pay a large team's costs for 18 months of development (they started before DAO shipped in Nov 2009, until it shipped in March 2011). Which means that they would have probably made more had they just taken that marketing budget and put it in a bank at 3% interest for 18 months.

But you really want to know how I know it was a financial disappointment? They're cancelling at least one significant DLC pack they'd already begun work on. Does that sound like something EA and Bioware would do if the game was the hit you seem to think it was?

Don't get me wrong. I really, really want this franchise to succeed, because it should be something right up my alley. And I liked DA2 more than most. But it needs a lot to raise it up to the level EA and Bioware seemed to envision for it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #43
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Back to the original point.... I hope this next is a sidescrolling beat'em up.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:01 PM   #44
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The first DA game has been sitting on my hard drive for well over a year now and I keep neglecting it. At one point I started the game, put about 15 hours into it, then stopped. I just never felt compelled to keep playing. It wasn't that the game was bad... it's just that other, more compelling RPGs kept showing up to steal me away.
Pretty much my story - I am not sure why I stopped playing. The world was very intriguing. As an old school RBGer I really disliked the limitted party size, which caused me to get randomly frustrated. I did play the DA2 demo, and it did nothing for me.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #45
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Where exactly do you get this 66% profit margin on retail games? Because whoever told you that either got their translation wrong, or they're playing a prank.
I got my information from several game producers who said they get ~$40 on each title. They included distribution as a cost that is subtracted (like development and marketing), and they probably didn't include the $7 for returned game costs in their figures. That makes sense though as this is what happens before they get their cut.

Still, that's $40 million for a game that got very little marketing and only had 18 months in development. They made a lot of money off of it.

Also, one of the things about the game industry is that there is a shortage of KNOWN excellent talent and talent management. They have a team they are fairly confident can crank out platinum-sellers, so they can put them on DLC for a game with only a 1.4 million install base that received mixed reviews, or they can have them working on the next Dragon Age with the hope that they'll fix their mistakes and sell more copies. Plus, there is the issue with the console generation winding down. Smart developers are starting production now for the last titles they expect to release on current generation consoles. I have a friend who is upset about this right now because his boss made him drop all speculative design work and focus on pushing out current IPs until they have more info on next-gen kits.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:07 PM   #46
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I played through DA:O 3 times, once with each class, so definitely a fan. I know that DA2 has been slammed a lot but it sounds like the part I care about most, dialog and characters, is, if anything, better in 2. So, even though the other stuff is a step back I would still like to pick up an ultimate edition of 2 at some point.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #47
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I played through DA:O 3 times, once with each class, so definitely a fan. I know that DA2 has been slammed a lot but it sounds like the part I care about most, dialog and characters, is, if anything, better in 2. So, even though the other stuff is a step back but I would still like to pick up an ultimate edition of 2 at some point.
Yeah, I'd say definitely get DA2. While there are a problems with the overall plot, the writing is generally brilliant and the characters incredibly well thought out.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #48
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The scope was never the problem. In fact, the idea of surviving in a city rather than the whole world is very cool and fresh.

The problem was the dungeons and other areas constantly reused assets. You can have small area of say 5 or 10 mile radius and have it filled with new content (See Witcher 2), this game just didn't do it.
I agree completely. I quite enjoyed the game but the way they carbon-copied the maps was incredibly annoying. I mean, it went to the extent of even having the same minimap for each of the 3 templates but not bothering to alter it at all. Areas that weren't accessible AT ALL in that particular incarnation of the map would still show up on the default minimap and that was incredibly annoying for someone like me who likes to hunt down every doo-dad and thingamabob in the nooks and crannies.

I never did finish Origins, but that was an issue with EA. Once I got the Ultimate Edition with all of the expansions (after already owning the Digital Deluxe Edition), it basically slapped me in the face and refused to link my existing DLC to my account which locked me out of my 20-30 hour save file. I gave up after multiple attempts to fix the problem and just moved on to the sequel.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #49
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Yeah, I'd say definitely get DA2. While there are a problems with the overall plot, the writing is generally brilliant and the characters incredibly well thought out.
Those are the good points, the bad points are re-using the same art assets to levels of absurdity:

Imagine a dungeon with 7 rooms and 11 corridors: You will enter this dungeon 4-5 times, and some of the doors will be locked or unlocked. This dungeon is located all over the game and is both a random cave and a dwarf dungeon at the same time.

The only time they reused the art assets with any sort of style or taste was the use of day and night: I thought that was interesting, and very welcome. Essentially you could visit certain areas, for story related reasons, during the day and night: drastically changing the lighting and ambient sounds and in some case the denizens of the area.

And as someone mentioned, Anders becomes a plot device: and oh yeah, be careful what you say to your companions - what you mistook for a casual friendly comment - was in actuality you declaring your gay/lesbian interest in said companion: which is fine, if you weren't totally surprised that your character was coming out of the closet, without you knowing.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:16 PM   #50
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And as someone mentioned, Anders becomes a plot device: and oh yeah, be careful what you say to your companions - what you mistook for a casual friendly comment - was in actuality you declaring your gay/lesbian interest in said companion: which is fine, if you weren't totally surprised that your character was coming out of the closet, without you knowing.
In the game's defense, flirtatious comments were labeled with a heart icon.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #51
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And as someone mentioned, Anders becomes a plot device: and oh yeah, be careful what you say to your companions - what you mistook for a casual friendly comment - was in actuality you declaring your gay/lesbian interest in said companion: which is fine, if you weren't totally surprised that your character was coming out of the closet, without you knowing.
Actually, Anders is predatory gay. He flirts with you because he finds you attractive and you can respond once he's shown his intentions toward you in very clear ways. In fact, to pursue a gay relationship takes a lot of effort and turning it off takes one choice to say you aren't interested.

My gay friend says his gay character got hit on by the female rogue too, but he didn't pretend that this meant his character had to be straight (being hit on by gay guys doesn't make you gay btw. I get hit on by gay dudes even when they know I have a girlfriend and even if she is right next to me).
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #52
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Well you may not like it. Purple didn't seem to enjoy it much. He still has my copy I sent him a year ago and he never beat it.

For me it was, and still is, just a flat out amazing title with a very unique world.
I'm glad I decided to read this thread. I feel so much better about having Purple's copies of Persona 3 and Again despite having finished neither of them.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:57 PM   #53
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They should just retire the franchise and come up with something new, something that hasn't pissed off most of their original fans. Or better yet, come up with something old.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:15 PM   #54
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My wife loved Dragon Age, but was with everyone else in the thought that DA2 was a huge step down from it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:40 AM   #55
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My wife loved Dragon Age, but was with everyone else in the thought that DA2 was a huge step down from it.
I thought the first game was amazing. The only problem is, in the first game you kill the biggest bad guy you can ever expect to kill - a Sauron level kill.

This made the first game great, but made any sequel twice as hard to make, the big expansion in DA:O did a good job of undermining a full sequel further.

DA2, seemed like a half-hearted attempt to deal with an overall dilemma of world-level story event by micro focus on a small detailed section: and do it poorly.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:41 AM   #56
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Dragon Age is still the best story Bioware has done. It not only sets up interesting characters and a clear conflict, it pays them all off at the end and YOUR CHOICES MATTER.
Dunno, all I got from it were some powerpoint slides with texts at the end saying "and then all was well". It all builded towards some ending I never got to experience. Reading a synopsis of how it all plays out after 50 hours kinda felt like a huge copout.

Mass Effect 3 at least has some really devious choices in there. The only one in DA that really was kind of a mindbender was the Golem one in the dwarves cave.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:06 AM   #57
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Dunno, all I got from it were some powerpoint slides with texts at the end saying "and then all was well". It all builded towards some ending I never got to experience. Reading a synopsis of how it all plays out after 50 hours kinda felt like a huge copout.
You've forgotten a lot.

What you mentioned came after a climax with at least 3 significantly different ways things can play out, followed by an epilogue which can potentially feature a memorial and/or coronation sequence, along with dialogue with the surviving characters.

The "slideshow" was the epilogue to the epilogue.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #58
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Mmm. then my ending sucked
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:39 AM   #59
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Yeah, the ending of my first play through made me kind of mad .
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:02 AM   #60
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I don't get the complaints about the copy and pasted area's in DA2. I thought it copy and pasted a lot less than DA1 personally.
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