owlmoose: (da - seeker)
KJ ([personal profile] owlmoose) wrote2014-04-22 02:41 pm
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Quick thoughts on the new DA:I trailer

Since, as I mentioned to [personal profile] vieralynn in comments, I can't imagine I can avoid what's in the trailer forever, and I'd rather learn it by watching now than via random, not-as-vague-as-they-think-they-are comments in random Tumblr posts. :)

  • October 7??? That's a full month earlier than I was expecting. Which is very welcome news.

  • Featuring a white human male warrior as the default Inquisitor. Surprise!

  • That said, having Cassandra as one of the narrators of the trailer pleases me greatly. Her inclusion as a companion is one of my favorite things about the upcoming game. I'm less excited about Varric and especially Cullen coming back, but I'll keep an open mind. (I like Varric a lot, I'm just not sure he belongs here. And my mixed feelings on Cullen as a companion are well-known, I think.)

  • The environments look fantastic. I'm sort of back and forth on the new game engine. It's clearly more sophisticated, but everyone looks so different. Much craggier. Maybe that's the point, though. Probably I'll just have to get used to it.

  • The hints dropped about the Inquisitor's backstory (sole survivor of the opening of the rift in the Veil) are pretty intriguing. I'm curious to see if and how it changes for the different race and class combos.


October? October. Good deal.
vieralynn: (Default)

The woes of spoilers, Alistair, very non-spoilerish DA:I talk.

[personal profile] vieralynn 2014-04-22 11:14 pm (UTC)(link)
The ongoing problem of spoilers: I receive the majority my gaming news directly from industry sources, media news sites for the public and media web news blogs for industry professionals, face-to-face conversations with my industry friends, etc., so it's easy for me to tune out fandom during the moments of hype, but industry news can be spoilery too, even unintentionally spoilery for someone who can make educated guesses.

Add in how official tie-in products can also be unintentionally spoilery like that BLIGHTED Maker Be DAMNED game guide for DA:O that blatantly spoiled who Alistair really is (*headdesk*) right in the front of the guide, right on the page you might look at briefly to get strategy ideas for spec'ing your party characters. (*headdesk* *headdesk*) I still wonder if the official Prima game guide author (male) for that guide unconsciously assumed that the big reveal of Alistair's family isn't all that big a deal because Warden Male Cousland would want to know. (Never mind that any Warden Female in a romance with Alistair, *especially* a non-Cousland female, should take Alistair's big reveal outside of Redcliffe as an earth-shattering bomb shell.)


DA:I Trailer: Yeah, I've been expecting this trailer with this content for quite a while. I have a lot of opinions (that will probably get aired later today when I'm with a couple of industry folks although my female opinion will be in the minority) ... I very much like how the trailer positioned Cassandra. Given the role she plays in DA2 and how DA2 ends with that Cas & Lel scene in Hightown, I wanted continuity of Cas's story. Given her political position in the larger world and how she frames DA2, she feels like a good POV for tying Inquisition to prior events.

Oddly, I didn't know you have mixed feelings on Cullen returning as a companion or as an agent. Curious (honestly, I'm more interested in good story than flag waving for any specific character so nothing you might say would bother me).

Featuring a white human male warrior as the default Inquisitor. Surprise! Try picturing the look on my face. Next, try imagining what might come out of my mouth later tonight when with some folks from a competing AAA company.
vieralynn: (Default)

Re: The woes of spoilers, Alistair, very non-spoilerish DA:I talk.

[personal profile] vieralynn 2014-04-23 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
I now remember you saying a little about this in the past. If DA fandom was small and non volatile, would you have the same opinion?

The devs have repeatedly said that they prefer characters who provoke a mix of strong positive and strong negative reactions in fans and that they bring back old characters only when their viewpoint makes sence in the story.

My curiousity in your reaction is actually more from a professional standpoint because you are certainly not alone in your feelings. I also have doubts in how they will fill the story "gaps" that exist for ppl who played a game that gives them Cullen's flat story arc, as I have called it in a narrative analysis meta from last year. Based on what I have heard the devs say publically, they might have a lot of hole filling to do.

Merrill and Isabela did not suffer from this problem. Anders did a little bit, but not as much as Cullen's story line potentially will.

There is a private thing I will post (prob not til summer) about lessons I have learned on how to create and how NOT to create a successful story-based franchise.
Edited 2014-04-23 01:14 (UTC)
vieralynn: (Default)

Re: The woes of spoilers, Alistair, very non-spoilerish DA:I talk.

[personal profile] vieralynn 2014-04-23 07:45 am (UTC)(link)
DA2's intro scenes and intro quests for Isabela and for Merrill showed everything that a new player needs to understand about them without requiring the new player to play DA:O.

On the other hand, while Anders (JAnders) has a self-contained story in DA2 (I say that based on what others have said when playing DA2 without playing DA:O/A), it is enlightening to have the backstory for Anders & Justice, and Anders was definitely a character who was loved and hated by Awakening players so people were coming in with biases. Still, I know people who fully appreciated DA2's Anders without playing Awakening.

Based on how the team brought Anders forward into DA2, I generally trust Bioware's writers to put together a self-contained story in DA:I for Cullen that doesn't require seeing any of his various prior story arc. In series like these, writers almost always make it possible to on-board new players without forcing them to play through the entire franchise.

Looking at this with some a narrative theory perspective, Cullen has had a full story arc (introduction, inciting incident, conflict, climax, resolution) across DA:O+DA2 so I'm pretty certain the writers have written a completely new story arc because ... there really isn't a choice once an arc is finished. That said, unlike Anders, people are expecting some sort of hole filling. I have a few educated guesses on how they will write it without relying on branched/flag-triggered dialogue.

...

On a different topic: is it me or does the new DA:I trailer look just like the new Skyrim trailer?