FYI's to share.... I'm not looking as much anymore, but I did find a few things some may be interested in.
- Part I- There was some posts on BW forums, seen elsewhere also, about bioware seeking talent for background artists and other similar type stuff to work on DA3 in Edmonton. It came in tweet form from someone at Bioware, and given the tendency of people to completely say and do incredibly stupid things on twitter, especially if say they were supposed to be a secret, this seems legit to me. I'm sure the guy who let it slip is now buried in a ditch in Guatemala. But that means there will be a DA3 for sure if they're hiring people. Almost a certainty I would say, and I'll get to almost in a second. Speculation was for it to come out in 18 months, but I couldn't find anything to substantiate that. That seems to be people speaking out of their behinds. I wouldn't be surprised though.
- Part II- Which is only peripherally related but a big deal. Someone also let it slip that Bioware is basically cannibalizing another unknown game they were working on and sending everyone on it to help with Star Wars:TOR. That's not substantiated, but does fit. They're at two delays now and looking at a third extending into next year so this makes sense. Why? Who really knows, but there is growing concern that this MMO, this very EXPENSIVE MMO, might actually really suck. Other sites are starting to suggest this also, but carefully so far. Officially, someone internally at BW said they were really proud of the sound. The sound...I'll let that sink in....I can't fathom the ramifications for the business if that game tanks. They admitted 80 million spent on it so far. It's a lot more than that no doubt after how many years? And how many teams working on it? Far more than a normal game for sure. I also saw somewhere that Lucas shit his pants about some things concerning this game too, but who knows really. Clouds are hovering.
- Part III- Shepard is bisexual too now in ME3, asari don't count apparently, but that's a few days old. Missed it myself earlier. So apparently the changes to DA from ME swing both ways....er, yeah....the harem option was broached but not considered. Kidding there.
So...good news, bad news? Who knows? DA3 seems good to go but what will it be? TOR could be a huge problem, so ME3 is suddenly really, really important. Interesting times for BW. The Grey Unknown (talk) 00:44, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
All I am hoping is that they don't rush DA3, that is all I am hoping...Please don't have it come out next year... That and it is awesome. Bioware, take your time, look back at what made Origins amazing and look at how DA2 was an improvement in some cases and take away what took away from the game. I will be happy, well more happy if that happens. But first give some awesome beefy DLC you promised us lol.Skursky (talk) 01:38, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
All of that is pretty interesting. The bisexual Shepard could turn out present issues for some of the more macho military role player personalities, and perhaps for some of the younger gamers. I honestly don't have a problem with people's sexual choices or orientations and don't have a problem with it in the games so long as the NPCs don't get pushy about it and/or act insulted when rejected. I do question whether the ME3 audience is the best choice for a bisexuality emphasis, but ME3 isn't my thing anyway.
As to TOR, I hope they pull it off, but there does seem to have been an unexpected shift away from MMOs over the past 6 months or so. MMOs seemed like the future for a long time, but recently different publications have started reporting that the trend has reversed. Could just be an artifact of temporary market over-saturation. But MMOs have never been my thing either, probably due in large part to internet connection speeds which haven't been extremely fast in the US until more recently (but we are still s-l-o-w big time compared to Japan, Korea, and many European countries).
On to DA3, I just don't know what to expect. I feel pretty strongly that if BW keeps Mike Laidlaw as the lead designer and official spokesperson, it's going to be like trying to sail a ship while dragging a huge and very heavy anchor... One thing worrisome is the failure of anyone at BW to take real responsibility for the DA3 changes. Every article and thread I've ever seen on the issue always gets into stuff like 'don't blame BW, its EA's fault; don't blame Laidlaw because there are other designers involved, etc. Thing is, situations where everybody points their finger at everyone else rarely get satisfactorily resolved. WarPaint (talk) 02:28, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- EA did contribute to many of DA2's problems. Major one is cutting development time in half. EA interfered with other workshops too. BF2 only released one DLC and EA was furious at DICE and DICE promised more DLC in future BF games, which is going to be cut off from the game and released separately.126.96.36.199 (talk) 03:21, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Thing is, that story keeps changing. Original story was DA2 development started long before DA:O was ever released. Laidlaw, for example, specifically said in interviews last fall that DA2 development had been ongoing for a long time. But the real point is that the story will ALWAYS keep changing, almost by definition unless the leadership is willing to take responsibility for the early decisions, and for the final success or failure of a project. In practice, a management group reaches a consensus on budget, scheduling, etc., and everyone signs off on the decision, or they leave the group. A leader who agrees to make something work, fails, and then blames the failure on others is rarely successful in getting good results from others because others on the project typically devote significant time and energy to the task of "cover your ass" due to the potential that they will be blamed for errors made by others. Without leaders willing to take responsibility, DA3 is doomed IMO. WarPaint (talk) 04:34, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I have nothing against gay or bi-sexual people(quite the opposite when considering one gender but...) but the medias recent shock tactics of injecting not only sex scenes but homosexual scenes for shock value alone gets on my nerves and part of the reason I don't watch much modern media. Considering the trend of biowares games I'm afraid it will be more than a an option and aggressively pushed in the story.188.8.131.52 (talk) 05:09, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
Hoooooo boy is going bi-Shepard to piss off those Halo type bros! That alone was reason enough to give him sexuality adjustment. >:-) Although I doubt I can hope to do a krogan, can I? As for TOR, it always looked like the iceberg of Bioware's Titanic. Dorquemada (talk) 07:03, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I completely am in love with BioWare right now. Bisexual pairings! I'm only happy because they aren't homophobic. Critics are, though. I mean the controversy in ME1, you kidding me? --MasterMage (talk) 07:24, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I certainly hope it is "Just an option", unlike in DA: Origins, where it was difficult to say anything to Zevran without losing Approval, or DA2, where I got Anders upset and had to work extra hard on his Friendship. I am not going to force my opinions on people, but they don't need to force theirs on me. And what was that comment "Halo type bros"?Croc484 (talk) 13:02, May 20, 2011 (UTC)Croc484 9:02AM May 20, 2011
- Well, Mass Effect attracted quite a lot of shooter crowd, and some of these dudes have this weird insecurity of being threatened by gay if their neighbour across the street has a game with it (male only, though. Chick on chick, as we all know, is hot). So for them the fact of their Testosterone McManlySquarejaw Shepard being bi must be devastating. Mwahaha. Dorquemada (talk) 14:26, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
Really hoping they won't release DA3 so early, or else it will be sort of like what happened with the Fable franchise(Microsoft). Bioware! Please don't ruin Dragon Age!Dragonage2fangirl (talk) 14:34, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
Check this DA3 news report which reads:
- Dragon Age 3 confirmed
- BioWare hiring developers for third title in EA’s successful action RPG series
- The developer posted a statement on Twitter looking for environment artists to work on the third main title in EA’s RPG franchise.
- “I’m looking for exceptional environment artists to join me at BioWare Edmonton, Canada to work on Dragon Age3,” said BioWare’s senior director of creative development Alistair McNally.
- The first game in the series, Dragon Age: Origins, arrived in November 2009. BioWare previously told MCV this was the most successful title the developer had ever produced.
- Dragon Age II went straight to No.1 in the GfK Chart-Track All Formats Top 40 when it was released in March. Both titles are single-player action RPGs published by EA. An expansion to the original, Dragon Age Origins: Awakening, went on sale last year.
The part about DA:O being "...the most successful title [BioWare] had ever produced, is a bit of news that should take some wind out of the sails of the DA:O denial crowd ("Origins wasn't that good...", etc). It also could signal an intent to return to the features that made DA:O a great and much loved RPG. Alternatively I could be engaging in wishful thinking... WarPaint (talk) 14:43, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- It's only too true that the devil is in the details... That bit about action RPG also appears at the top (BioWare hiring developers for third title in EA’s successful action RPG series). I don't mind the action part (enjoy it actually), so long as I get the RPG part. WarPaint (talk) 15:08, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
Just read this article on by a dude on IGN titled Dragon Age II and the Decline of the Old School RPG  . The author is not optimistic at all. To sum it up, he sees the future of RPGs as little more than an add-on element... of course, I don't agree with everything he says. Especially when he uses the "failure" of FF13 as an indication that people do not want traditional RPGs. There's also the fact that he thinks the hardcore audience are Xbox players... *facepalm*.
I quote, "According to an Xbox 360 achievement aggregator, only an estimated 52% of players received the achievement for witnessing the end of the game; whilst as many as 10% of total players earned fewer than five achievements. Whilst these statistics are fairly vague, they are representative of the hardcore audience."
Well, the xbox thing in article is because xbox sales destroy PC and PS3 sales overall, so they used that as a basis probably, but hardcore was a poor choice of words. The achievement thing is iffy too, perhaps. I couldn't give a crap about achievements in games, but maybe most do? so they are basing stats of that? Okay, but grain of salt. I agree more people put this game away w/out finishing though. But how many I don't think we could even speculate on really. Overall, the general premise of that article seems correct, though I'd disagree with some of it. Cost is really key. RPG audiences are fiercely loyal. But the size of that audience, even 5 million gamers like DAO swung, may not be cost effective if the game takes so many years to make. Especially taking into account the fact that the vast majority of money/profit a company makes is inside of the first 10 weeks after release and these games tend to sell well only over longer periods. DAO sold huge, but sold over a very protracted period of time. I'd bet the profit total for DAO was larger overall than DA2, but a lower percentage to total costs. And if EA can turn out two DA2 type games in the time it takes to make one DAO? They will do that. Expect DA3 to be very much like DA2, with some minor bones thrown in for us DAOers in an attempt to get us back. A portion of us will, but not enough I think, if just to see what happens next, but you can bet your ass it will be at greatly reduced cost, which will net EA/BW no actual profit. I can wait next time, I learned that lesson well. They walk a fine line here, and that's just with the DA franchise. The other franchises have issues also. It's like Bioware is on that bridge in Temple of Doom, banking that they can get across before the ropes get cut. The Grey Unknown (talk) 15:17, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Massive Multiplayer Online game. Like World of Warcraft. In this case it's Star Wars: The Old Republic. Though your descriptions are much better. Sorry. I get the same questions, like someone mentioned BF and BF2 earlier in another thread? What the F is that? I've been wondering all day. The Grey Unknown (talk) 16:27, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
This is from John Epler with Bioware on the BW forums. "It's odd how the development director doing a tweet re: recruiting and mentioning possible future projects that the person would be working on has furnished this much speculation. Now we've got timelines, the whole works! At this point, nothing more than speculation. If and when we're ready to mention any possible plans as to the future of the franchise, we'll let you know. As there's already a thread discussing possible changes that the playerbase wants to see for DA3, though, I'm going to lock this."
Looks like Epler has changed his mind as there is now a new living thread at the BioWare forums, IGN confirms Dragon Age III, and Epler is trying to consolidate discussions of the "Tweet" stuff into that thread "Let's keep the discussion and wild speculation confined to a single thread, please." Maybe Epler didn't get the early message that the Tweet leak was an intentional attempt to start building interest in DA3? WarPaint (talk) 17:24, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Ugh. Between "troll" hipster comments and discussions about whether Shephard should kill Hakwe or Hawke should kill Shephard, I think half of my brain just died. Lemonaidz (talk) 20:44, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what to think about this. On one hand, I'm glad they're doing another game. On the other, I'd be frustrated about the 18 months speculation (speculation being the operative word). However, I am glad that they seem to be adressing concerns (I guess our "whining" paid off ;)?), as they're enlarging the enviromental team (practically guaranteeing more diverse maps). Now I just how they get the story and gameplay right, and bring back some of the RPG elements of Origins. King Cousland (talk) 18:06, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- Well, given how the Bio heads are praising EA in their latest interview and even call its CEO their mentor, don't get your hopes too high. Dorquemada (talk) 20:26, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
It would be very wise to temper expectations given all that we've seen the last few years, both game wise, DLC wise, and concerning the reported new directions EA is taking all it's franchises. Bioware is no longer ruler of the RPG roost I think. DA2 is no blip, it's a drastic, intentional change that I do not see them backing down from just yet. The words "pre-order" no longer exist for me. And neither due first week sales unless word of mouth is glowing. I waited until over 1000 user reviews were posted, 95% positive, before I bought the witcher2 yesterday. DA and bioware now play by those rules. If ME3 sucks I'll knock them down another notch at that. The Grey Unknown (talk) 20:46, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
What we have here is a Multi-Tasking Non-Linear-Thread -- Hah! -- @King Cousland -- Good observation about how staffing up on "environmental artists" addresses the DA2 map-reuse criticism that seems to be shared by everyone. My guess is that this Tweet leak was planned in part to to send a message that BW has heard this criticism and won't make the same mistake in DA3. Several different game sites including vidseogamer and gamingunion also point out that the first tweet by Alistair McNally was later retweeted by Christina Norman of the Mass Effect team, leading to the conclusion that this was not an unintentional leak. On the question of development time, I'm beginning to think that we (including me) may be overreacting in focusing on release date for DA3 since RPG games of this type always include separate areas (or modules) that can be developed simultaneously. The real issue may be BioWare's total employee-hour commitment for DA3.
@Flemeths Broomstick -- The IGN article, Dragon Age II and the Decline of the Old-school RPG, was an interesting read. Like you and The Grey Unknown, I disagree with numerous aspects of the analysis. My biggest issue is the failure to address the D'Oh! fact that BioWare isn't the only active RPG Supply House these days. Indeed CD Projekt RED's The Witcher 2 was released just days ago and is getting uniformly excellent reviews. Obsidian Entertainment has Dungeon Siege III in the pipeline and Bethesda Softwork's Daggerfall is expected later this year. So in my mind the IGN article might have been more appropriately titled, Dragon Age II and the Decline of the BioWare Old-school RPG. (I see that The Grey Unknown posted a similar observation as I was writing this). WarPaint (talk) 21:06, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
@Dorquemada -- The interview with the Bio heads, as you call them (great name!!) makes me wonder whether they're on the same planet as their DA2 customers. This quote from page 1 about BioWare's "humility" just blows my mind:
- "... It's about trying to improve each game, try to make it better than your last, never sitting on your laurels, never resting. It's a very active word. It's a very bold word. It's a very confident word, in many ways, because it's sort of a willingness to say, "Yes, we're ready to change, if we need to change, based on feedback."
- "... It's sort of a word that forces you to listen to feedback."
Out of dozens of DA2 reviews to date, virtually none rate DA2 as better than DA:O. I mean Hello???. All that business about humility and listening to feedback; C'mon now, this is the same company that ignored tons of feedback in the form of glowing reviews and massive positive gamer feedback of DA:O, and then proceeded to make numerous major changes neither requested nor appreciated by their customers. They even had Morrigan preaching to the gamers that change was coming whether it was wanted or not; and that the change was just what was needed. That's not humility; that's hubris. WarPaint (talk) 22:04, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- A big company putting tens of millions of dollars into your pockets tends to do things like this. I can't blame them for towing the line. I would. Hell, I'd sing the praises of a gift wrapped turd if EA paid me like those two got paid. And only one customer's feedback matters here. And coincidentally they wrote the big checks too. The Grey Unknown (talk) 22:14, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I guess they can't just write "Oh, fuck it, we don't care what you want. We're trying to get new fans because you bastards are all pricks and don't buy fast enough." That they write the complete opposite instead, however, baffles me. Lemonaidz (talk) 22:26, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
- @Lemonaidz - Good point. Actually I'm beginning to think that the BW modus operandi works something like this:
- If we get good feedback from a bunch of customers, that means they'll buy our next product no matter what we do. So we get rid of the stuff the happy customers liked and put different stuff that other customers want in it's place. Then we'll have both customer groups for the next product. On the third product we know the second customer group will buy it because we just made them happy. So we go back to first customer group stuff to get the first customer group back, and again we keep both groups.
- So guess who gets screwed with DA3. Yup; all those happy DA2 fans currently defending BioWare with every breath in their body.
- But never fear. BioWare makes every game special with a Crackerjacks prize for everyone inside every new BioWare game! Everybody gets to screw every NPC in the game!! Tell me that isn't special!! WarPaint (talk) 23:48, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
I'm surprised DA2's had such a harsh reaction. And that fans are so divided. I just see it as them just trying to introduce new things so that they aren't accused of resting on their laurels. It'll be interesting to see how they go about 3, and to then look back over the series as a whole. Anyone else getting the feeling it may become like the Halo series? In that it'll have the main story finished, most likely in 3, and then have other games come out that explore other areas. It'd be cool if they have another game where you play as an elf, and only an elf, and explore the Dalish in a real in depth manner. It'd be when whatever issue in the main series is resolved, and there'd be a completely different issue, perhaps pertaining directly to the Dalish, or to the clan you're in. Imagine if they had a game where you're in a clan vs clan thing and you can either destroy them, join them, completely flee from it, or reach a peace? Or maybe even a storyline that centres around Arlathan and restoring the old ways of the elves etc. Or some Tevinter thing where you finally as a race get revenge on them or something. Looking at what's happened with Elder Scrolls (each game tells its own story etc), I can't see why they couldn't just have single games come out with their own storylines that have nothing to do with other games apart from lore etc. Maybe they go through the different races, or different areas and explore the history/background etc. The Tevinter Imperium sounds too cool not to have a game explore it where mages reign supreme, for example. S13Kuro (talk) 23:31, May 20, 2011 (UTC)