Dragon Age Writer on Forums as Toxic Environments

dragon age 2 writer fandom toxic environments

If there’s one place I tend to avoid when I’m browsing the Net, it’s the community forums for any type of video game company. While they all have their share of trolls and ne’er-do-wells, the BioWare Social Network has become pretty infamous over the past little while thanks to that studio’s downfall in the public eyes.

I’m not really interested in rehashing Mass Effect 3’s ending, or Dragon Age 2, or Star Wars: The Old Republic unless it’s in a polite, civilized way, but rather the whole attitude of forum goers at large. One of Dragon Age’s lead writers, David Gaider, posted a short thought on his blog about dealing with fanboys and the toxic environments on forums and how he sifts through the vast amount of negativity it can generate.

It’s good to know that developers don’t take everything said on the forums at face value. One of my favorite things in the article is how Mr. Gaider points out the differences between online and real-life interaction and much more polite and reasoned people are face to face. It’s something that we already know for the most part, but it just goes to show that polite reasoning, even about a mechanic or part of a game you dislike, always goes a lot further than just spewing vitriol.

What did you guys think of David Gaider’s post? Are forums becoming little more than a dumping ground for haters? Is there even any use for them anymore?

Source – The Bittersweetest Thing

Hindsight: Looking Back at Dragon Age II

Dragon Age 2

I know that a fair number of us at GamerSushi have played through the depths of Dragon Age II, exploring the streets of Kirkwall and siding with Mages, Templars or both. I also know that a few of us (including myself) have had some discussions about the shortcomings of Dragon Age II, places where it might have been lacking in comparison to the epic original.

These gripes are well-documented around da Webz, and it seems that Bioware has been listening to people’s issues and complaints. After some flack received about different comments made about Dragon Age II’s design choices, here’s what lead designer Mike Laidlaw had to say on a recent forum post, addressing the swell of criticisms that have been leveled against the sequel:

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.

I’m not really posting this to alert everyone of its existence, but rather use this as a spoiler-filled forum for us to talk about how we feel about Dragon Age II, looking back. We don’t do that often enough on GamerSushi, so I want to start making it a point to revisit these games and talk about them in a more open way. Continue reading Hindsight: Looking Back at Dragon Age II

Poll: What’s Your Current Game of the Year?

Seeing as how we’re almost five months into the glorious year of 2011, and given that we’ve already seen a slew of quality releases, I thought I’d conduct an informal poll (TWSS) and find out what your current Game of the Year is.

While we do have a few luminary titles coming at us in a few weeks, the recent release of Portal 2 gave us undoubtedly one of this year’s critical juggernauts. Gaming is for all types though, so maybe you liked something else? Let us know which game you’re rooting for in this handy-dandy poll we cooked up. Chances are, you’ll like a game with the number “2” in it. Just a guess.

For anyone wondering why I picked these games, I basically selected big ticket titles over a score of 87 on Metacritic. If you’d like me to add something else, please let me know in the comments!

What's Your Current Game of the Year for 2011?

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GamerSushi Asks: What Are You Playing?

Demon's Souls

Howdy, gamers. How was your weekend?

Now that I’m finished with Dragon Age 2, there seems to be a bit of a brief lull between Bioware’s not-quite-as-epic fantasy RPG and the sequel to Valve’s runaway hit, Portal 2, which releases on April 18th. As such, I now have some time to chip away at the always growing pile-o-games that awaits me at each and every turn.

The games I’m currently playing: Final Fantasy VI, Beyond Good and Evil HD, Infinity Blade and Demon’s Souls. I also plan on starting Torchlight on XBLA as well as Back to the Future on PC. I might even throw a bit of Lost Odyssey in there for good measure. The game I’m most curious about is Demon’s Souls, the uber challenging PS3 exclusive that I keep hearing horror stories about from Anthony. So far, it seems pretty interested, but I’m admittedly not very far into it.

So what about you guys? What are you playing at the moment? Has anyone else out there completed Dragon Age 2? Thoughts? Any Demon’s Souls advice for me? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Marathons?

Dragon Age 2

Every now and then as gamers we get to bunker down and tackle a game for as long as we want. This doesn’t happen very often due to a number a life circumstances, but sometimes the stars align and clear the way for a gaming marathon session like no other. Needless to say, these always make for awesome days, and if you’re lucky enough, awesome binge gaming weekends.

Yesterday, a few members of the GamerSushi crew got to do just that. For instance, Jeff, finally over-burdened by our constant podcast harassment, took it upon himself to play Mass Effect 2 for about 10 hours. He knocked out the second half of the game and even DLC, including Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker. I know that Anthony has also spent some time plowing through Demon’s Souls. As for me, I think I’ve played Dragon Age 2 for about 23 hours this week, including about 9 yesterday in one awesome gaming session.

So what about you guys? When’s the last time you’ve gotten to jump into a marathon gaming session? What game or games did you play? Go!

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 22: The Hangover

The funny thing about the banner image on the front page is that we thought about Photoshopping our faces on the characters of The Hangover, but then realized we could leave Nick’s the same. Think about it.

So how do we all hold up after a couple of weeks to reflect and regret our actions in the last podcast? Pretty good, actually. Episode 22 of the podcast is all about Dragon Age 2, Infinity Blade, Radiant Historia and other gaming goodness. Apparently we were focused on RPG’s when we did this. “Nice.”

After those initial topics, Nick drops a game of fill in the blank on us. As always, my exceptional vocabulary and clever word play propelled me ahead of my opponents and secured my victory. So be ready for that.

Alright, victory celebrations aside, here’s the podcast. Listen. Rate. Enjoy.
Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 22: The Hangover

GamerSushi Asks: When Does a Game Grab You?

Infinity Blade

The original title for this article was “When Are You Addicted to a Game”, but then I would have admitted publicly that I’m a sucker jonesing for a gaming fix. At any rate, I was thinking about this subject today as Eddy passed around an email thread where he detailed his current problem with Infinity Blade: namely, does he buy the titular sword or purchase less powerful weapons to get some experience points for the immediate future. He’s also completed about twenty bloodlines in the game, meaning that he’s well and truly in the throws of an Infinity Blade obsession.

That’s not to say that I’m immune though. While I did have a lengthy infatuation with Infinity Blade, I’m currently eyeballs-deep in another Dragon Age 2 playthrough, this time as a female Rogue. I’m determined to see everything I didn’t find last time, so I’m searching ever nook and cranny and even taking advantage of the leveling glitch to make my progress a bit smoother. BioWare games do this a lot to me, where I’ll play for a little while then get hooked into the experience. Knights of the Old Republic and both Mass Effects have done this to me, and now Dragon Age 2 has as well. Something about their games are just irrestiable.

What about you guys? Have you had a similar experience with a game? Do you know when you’re enthralled with a game, when every waking moment is consumed with thoughts about it?

Review: Dragon Age 2

dragon age 2 review

Dragon Age: Origins was a strange sort of game when it released back in the Fall of 2009. Not to say it was bad by any means (Eddy gave it a good review), but the game seemed to draw on more of the old RPG conventions than newer ones. It still retained that BioWare dedication to character and story, but for those of us who got most of their RPG experience from games like Fallout 3 and Mass Effect, it was a little difficult to get into.

Regardless of what you may have thought about the original’s mechanics, the success it obtained meant that BioWare launched head-first into a sequel, dropping Dragon Age 2 a year and a bit after the original and all of its expansion. A lot of things have been changed, re-vamped or just plain dropped this time around. Does BioWare work their magic again, or should we call the Templars?
Continue reading Review: Dragon Age 2

Gaming Pop Quiz: Spring 2011 Edition

Where is 2011 going? It’s already a week into March, and I feel like time for playing games is just slipping through my fingers. I was going to see if I could make a joke about pixels and grains of sand in there, but it kind of fell through last second. Don’t judge me.

As we have no doubt beaten the issue beyond death by now, you probably already know that 2011 is the year of the gaming assault. Already we’ve had some stellar titles, and we’ve barely even scratched the surface. Nearly every single month for the rest of the year is going to have some kind of landmark release (or several), and for March that title is Dragon Age 2. Naturally, we thought it was time to check in with another edition of the Gaming Pop Quiz. You know, because of the dragons and all.

As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go! Continue reading Gaming Pop Quiz: Spring 2011 Edition

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 15: Slunk!

It’s the first podcast of the new year! The year isn’t all that new anymore, but we finally got off our butts and chatted about video games. In this edition, we were careful to avoid recapping 2010 (again) and looking forward too far into 2011 (again), and instead just talked about what we’re playing and some stuff that’s been rattling around our mostly empty brains.

In order to achieve that ultimate state of full disclosure, I must say that we actually recorded this the week before last with the intention of releasing it last week, but stuff happens and we didn’t get to it. So, it’s new to you, and should get us back on our regularly scheduled podcast programming. I know you’ve just been dying to hear our nasally voices.

For some reason, I was either hyper or bored, and by the end of the podcast I was in a bit of a rare form. It’s the form that Daniel and Nick know best from when I goofed around on the set of WZ or in the making of Leet World. Since I haven’t listened to it just yet, I’m not sure if it’s been immortalized in podcast form. If it is, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Anywho, hope you guys enjoy, and be sure to rate the podcast on iTunes! Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 15: Slunk!

Dragon Age 2 Coming March 2011

Dragon Age 2

Developer Bioware made quite the splash with Dragon Age: Origins last year by introducing a new RPG in the midst of dozens of sequels and shooters. The not so black-and-white tale that involved darkspawn, big choices and an epic story was one of my favorite games of 2009 by far, and while I haven’t been able to play its expansion Awakening yet, I’ve been anxious to hear about any news of a sequel.

Well today, Bioware and EA delivered with the announcement that Dragon Age 2 would be dropping in March 2011, with a debut trailer coming for the game as soon as August of this year. So does this mean we can expect more Morrigan loving, Orzammar questing and tricky gameplay? Well, perhaps not.

According to the official Dragon Age 2 site, some things are going to be changing:

  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.

Updated graphics? Count me in. I’m really excited about the direction of some of these changes, especially considering I didn’t have many complaints about the first game to begin with. The team also gave a brief plot overview:

You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Anybody else excited about this? Just looking at the concept art gets me all a flutter. Consider me geeking out.

Source- Dragon Age 2