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Bioware's Broken Economies

Bright Hub writes: "As a longtime RPG player, I have a bone to pick with Bioware. Don't get me wrong – I don't think they've made a game that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. I'm almost willing to overlook that they've committed this grievous wrong time and again, but with Star Wars: The Old Republic gearing up for a winter launch, I can sit idly by no longer.

Bioware consistently messes up its games' economies. Money in Mass Effect serves no purpose, so why is it there? Vendors in Dragon Age should simply hand out their wares because I won't have to do any work to buy them out. Bioware knows its craft, so I'm puzzled as to how they keep on screwing this up."

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blackhammer2698d ago

Wow. What the hell Bioware? WHY U NO MAKE RPG?

LocO_o2698d ago

The only thinng I hate about most western RPG is that your choice in a matter or converastion does not make a diffrence.

For example: You get a question from some one saying When do you think the world will end.

You get 3 to 4 options and no matter what you pick the result from the person asking is the same.

I want a true RPG where what ever I say or do has an impact - If I kill Joe cows and chicken then Joes family starves because he has no income or food.

I want to be able to tell some one to piss off or else and see him fleeing for his life or giving me a black eye.

If I slay a dragon I want to be able to cut off his head and hang it in my room as a trophy.

blackhammer2696d ago

Damn true. I would really enjoy having a dragon head as a trophy, or I would also like to decapitate the head of the Circle of Magi in DA:O. I friggin' hate that guy and the Circle as a whole.

I do hope in the future Bioware and RPGs in general start taking bigger steps toward tree-branch story-lines that result in different endings/consequences.

Rowland2698d ago (Edited 2698d ago )

hey, open your eyes DrewKauffman !

You've only highlighted one miniscule element. There are many major RPG issues with recent Bioware games.

It's now common knowledge that their game development strategy has been to simply churn out a series of 'more accessible' games (ie casual games) as quickly and cheaply as possible for quick financial gain. This doesn't make them bad games, in fact they're very good games, but categorizing them as RPG's is misleading & a misnomer.

Mass Effect 2 (ME3 to follow) & the Dragons Age franchise skimp on almost all RPG elements & some have been omitted completely. Factor in lazy game design such as the dungeons in DA2 or the excruciatingly painful, pointless and mind blowingly boring planet mining in ME2 and it's clear that Bioware have cut and will continue to cut many RPG corners.

True RPG's such as Fallout/Elder Scrolls/Witcher etc take twice as long & cost much more to make, but reap far greater long term rewards: financially & critically for the people that make them, gameplay quality/longevity for the consumer. Although it's by choice, Bioware are no longer anywhere near this league.

Hands up anyone who is playing/has played The Witcher 2 and still thinks ME2 & DA compare as RPG's ?

morganfell2698d ago

Here here, great post. The other issue, at least with ME2, is that it utilizes very cheap game design. Not only is it not a RPG as promoted, but the TPS elements in it are substandard as well. This was brought up in a post the other day.

One example is the implementation of trap scenarios in level design. This can suit the story when it happens once. But again and again and again Bioware kept going back to the well on this one and it reeks of poor design and lack of imagination.

As you mentioned the larger and much more disconcerting fault is the sheer lack of a true RPG backbone. For all the recent talk about the demise of Japanese devs, they still understand the principles of RPGs. It is worrisome though as some may look at the sales of ME2 and decide to go that casual route.

The Witcher and it's sequel, both of which I have touted on this board, are excellent examples that some Western devs still get it and understand the value of old school RPGs combined with new school technology.

moaradin2698d ago

Dragon Age: Origins is every bit of a RPG as Witcher 2 is. Origins is also a much better RPG than Witcher 2 is IMO. Much better story.

Witcher 2 started strong but it just had a terrible ending I cant forgive.

dc12698d ago

I loved DA Origins as well.

However, I will not knock the Witcher 2 for the ..rushed ending. I'm sure it will all payoff in the Wicher 3.

Rowland2697d ago (Edited 2697d ago )

@moaradin

The story is not the issue - it's the RPG mechanics that we're talking about.

And as I wrote previously:

"...This doesn't make them bad games, in fact they're very good games..."

Story & narrative in DA is first class as games go, but if I want a story I'll read a good book or watch a good film, not play a computer game.

Stories in computer games whatever the genre are there to enhance the setting & sense of place and a good story will clearly do this (as in DA) and is desirable but stories are not critical to actual gameplay. In fact over the years there have been many RPG's where there is no story at all but a blend of strong RPG mechanics, good graphics & audio created an outstanding gaming experience.