GamingUnion's Adam Ma wonders whether BioWare will listen to the (often negative) fan feedback to Dragon Age II and whether that will necessarily make Dragon Age III a better game in a recent editorial, and reaches an interesting conclusion. Here's an excerpt:
It was violating that expectation that led to so much resistance in the first place, and it would do wonders for Bioware to simply go back to what gamers expected Dragon Age 2 to do; give players an epic story that their unique avatar could engage in, combat, graphical, and artistic changes aside. Regardless of the impressive amount of control that Bioware is giving players in designing this upcoming game I like to think they’ve already learned this lesson. If they haven’t, it’s hard to have any hope for Dragon Age’s third entry.
In fact, most of DA2’s major criticism’s were oriented around character and world design. Over the course of a series gamers don’t simply want new fancy ways to kill monsters (although that is a major plus), but have relied on storytelling and environments to set the stage for their excitement. Having sprawling locations to care about (or loathe entering) creates a particular tone for any RPG, and if FFXIII was any example most gamers expect a particular degree of exploration in their gameplay. Likewise developing a cast of characters isn’t simply a matter of creating a badass with a sword, or a rogue with a conscience, but taking the time to create a world that those characters can realistically inhabit. That includes a wide variety of enemies with potentially varying motivations
Combat can often be a major point of resistance for developers, and it will be interesting to see what kind of middle ground Bioware can reach with their extremely opinionated fanbase. Often times the vocal majority is the sales minority when it comes to the internet, and though there were many who criticized DA2 as being a more watered down ‘console friendly’ version of DA:O it can be argued that DA2’s combat made it a more accessible game to the masses. How Bioware decides to handle this split in the community will be interesting to track, especially since they’ll only be taking community feedback for a short period of time before taking any major steps in development.