Dragon Age II designer addresses criticisms, drops DLC hints

Mike Laidlaw braves the BioWare forums to talk Dragon Age's strengths and weaknesses

Developer forums have a habit of mutating into echo chambers for fan resentment, bitter accusations and poorly organized mutinies, but on the rare occasion they can also evolve into a venue for mature, enlightened discussions between game makers and the players they aim to please. Such is the case in BioWare's forum, where Dragon Age II's lead designerMike Laidlawrecently posted a rather honest missiveto Dragon Age lovers and haters addressing complaints about the sequelandteasing future DLC plans.

%26ldquo;While I haven't been posting, we have been listening,%26rdquo; wrote Laidlaw. %26ldquo;I am absolutely aware of the concerns voiced here. Issues like level re-use, the implementation of wave combat, concerns about the narrative and significance of choice and so on have all been not only noted, but examined, inspected and even aided me (and many, many others on the team) in formulating future plans. Further, I'm not only aware of the concerns, but I agree that there are aspects of DA II that not only can but must be improved in future installments. And that is precisely our intent.%26rdquo;

Although he admitted Dragon Age II had its hits and misses, Laidlaw emphasized he was nonetheless proud of the work BioWare's team did on the game overall, and that he believed the sequel did a fine job of both widening Dragon Age's audience and moving the franchise into a space with more potential, noting, %26ldquo;Hawke's story was a departure from the usual tale, and in crafting it and the game around it we learned a lot. Some from what worked, but even more from what didn't. Such is always the way.%26rdquo;

Laidlaw capped his post with hints that future DLC would see players exploring areas outside of Kirkwall, addingthe followingteaser images to back up his claim:

Dragon Age II was one of the more polarizing games of 2010, with the majority of fans and critics either gushing about its focused narrative and streamlined gameplay, or hackingthe fantasy RPGto bits over its repetitive design and limited scope. Us? Weactually likedwhat BioWare did with the series, but understand there's always room for improvement. Let us know what changes you'd like to see in the next (inevetiable) sequel. Who knows, BioWare could be listening...

[Source:BioWare forum]

May 27, 2011

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