Dragon Age: Redemption
October 15, 2011 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Now available for online viewing: the first episode of the new webseries by Felicia Day and her production company Knights Of Good, in association with Bioware -- Dragon Age: Redemption.
posted by hippybear (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Includes a "coming up" sequence after the credits, to tease you into watching more episodes.
posted by hippybear at 5:52 PM on October 15, 2011

This is really cool. I'm looking forward to the rest.

Are the subtitles in the video, or are they a Youtube option? I, uh.... I can't figure out if it's possible to turn them off.
posted by meese at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2011

Augh. Ok... I want to be positive, and I have loved FD's work in other web series from The Guild to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. But if she is going to base a webseries on a game, and make her starring character a Qunari she should at least try and get it right.

It's not like she is maybe fudging minor parts of a game plot or defined society or something. This is like... tumblr user coelasquid said it best:

"If Felicia Day had written a fanfiction where her Original Character (please don’t steal) is a member of the Borg, but she is a very special borgling who is sassy and flirty and unpredictable and because of this she gets a very special role in Borg society where the other Borg hold her in high regard and break borg-ciety rules just for her ‘cause she’s just so gosh-darned special and doing things no other borg can, then forced all her friends to LARP it with her; Dragon Age: Redemption would be the fantasy equivalent to that."
posted by ShawnStruck at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2011 [16 favorites]

The subtitles aren't part of the video. In the YouTube player there's a button at the bottom labeled CC. Try clicking that to see if that turns them off.
posted by hippybear at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2011

Woah. She... Felicia... Day... who is like. I mean. She is not exactly 6'5" and corded in rippling muscle, you know?

Sten's requirements for hot Qunari sex.

I just can't really imagine FD as a Qunari. :x
posted by kavasa at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yeah this feels like fan fiction. Ick.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

It probably is fan fiction. Me on the other hand, I've never heard of Dragon Age, so have no idea what she's getting incorrect.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I guess it's worth noting that it's only six episodes long, so it won't be a huge commitment to watch it all over the next few weeks, or toward the end of the year once it's all been released.
posted by hippybear at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2011

This small hill! How ever shall we walk down it!
posted by isnotchicago at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

She's not Qunari (the species/race); she's an elven follower of the Qun.

I thought it was okay? I haven't played the DLC yet but I hear the party banter is good.
posted by NoraReed at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2011

Some of it was painful, but overall entertaining and I look forward to the next.
posted by Glinn at 7:11 PM on October 15, 2011

I don't buy Felicia Day as a cold-hearted assassin. But the elf ears are pretty damn adorable.

Dragon Age II was a crushingly disappointing game.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:18 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's pro-fic if it's anything. It's not like Felicia Day did this in a vacuum. She worked with Bioware the whole way. And as mentioned above, she's not supposed to be actually Qunari. She just works for them.

DA2 had its share of problems, but I thought it was still pretty good. The crazy backlash seemed disproportionate to me.
posted by kmz at 7:43 PM on October 15, 2011

Huge nerd chiming in. This is awful.
posted by Samsonov14 at 7:44 PM on October 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

I just don't think drama is Day's forte.
posted by chimaera at 7:46 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm in the minority but I thought DAII was pretty good. I get the complaints-- the whole repetitive dungeon thing irritates a lot of people-- but since I have no sense of direction it sort of was useful for me to know the layouts. And I thought the total moral ambiguity of it was interesting. Also, Merrill is adowabow.
posted by NoraReed at 7:55 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

The biggest flaws in the Dragon Age games? Doors. That's right. Fucking doors. I'm a Baldur's Gate vet. I know how to use doors as choke points to funnel and destroy herds of enemies. But if I've made a meat wall in front of a door made of up my best fighters who are groaning under the weight of their shields, swath-cutting two handed weapons and broadly armored shoulders which might actually be the fucking reason I put them in the doorway in the first place then, Game, if you just let the Bad Guys slip right through them and around the back where I've stashed my mages and force me to fight a 360 fight IN EVERY GODDAMN ROOM... I might hold it against ya a bit.
posted by Cyrano at 7:58 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

...Yeah, I don't pay much attention to the fight mechanics. They're basically visual novels where I occasionally take a break from making out with Fenris to fireball dudes.
posted by NoraReed at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Cyrano - so the meat shield doesn't work or the "bad guys" slip around through other corridors to ambush the fire support characters in the back?

'cause if frontward enemies can push past your well-placed meat shields without some kind of skill check (on both sides), that's fucking bullshit.

I sat through it, looked up who the heck Day was. Still unimpressed.
posted by porpoise at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2011

I'm not too enthused by the DLC so far. It's a bit of a letdown to go from battling blood mages and qunari with the amazing amount of firepower I've collected through the game, to playing hide and seek with ze french Orlesians, and their "your father smelt of elderberries" accents.
posted by bibliowench at 9:24 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nerds don't make particularly good ninjas. They make good writers and directors.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:25 PM on October 15, 2011

Playing DAII on nightmare mode improves the combat system immensely, believe it or not. You're forced to really think about the way various skills interact and to make use of them judiciously and effectively. Friendly fire (which unlike DAO includes fighter abilities and even 2-handed base attacks) makes positioning much more important.

Cyrano correctly identifies what I consider the most problematic of the fundamental design decisions made by Bioware. The reason you can stick a guy in a doorway and the enemy will flow around him at your mages is that Bioware isn't using a positional combat system, they are using a MMORPG-like aggro system. You don't keep the enemy off your squishies by physically preventing them from getting to them, you keep them off your squishies through crowd control and aggro management. Which may make sense in an MMORPG but makes no sense at all in a single player game save as a lazy way for developers to avoid having to program decent AI and collision detection.

It does, unfortunately, seem to be the way of the future for RPGs. I blame MMORPGs and consoles.

The other serious problems with DAII are much easier to address and, in fact, have already been addressed in the DLC. Those problems being the waves of enemies who seem to parachute in right on top of you even if you're inside a building. This is a bullshit console mechanic and has been almost universally panned. Why this is a very poor design decision should be obvious so I'll limit myself to listing one reason; if you have absolutely no idea whatsoever how many enemies you will face, how many waves of said enemies will appear, and where they will hit you from, you have no basis upon which to make decisions regarding your own positions and how many of your own resources to expend. So for any of the difficult fights you end up using too many resources early, dying, and then reloading the game and redoing the fight using the knowledge you've just acquired to make better allocation of resources. But requiring the player to make use of out of character knowledge about the future like that is terrible game design.

The other problem is re-using the same locations over and over and over again until it becomes a boring joke. I have no idea why the DAII devs did not learn from the Mass Effect devs. Re-using environments was a criticism of ME1 and ME2 made far, far less use of recycled spaces. But the opposite was true when moving from DAO-->DAII. This is obviously a problem of the devs not being given the time or resources to generate the content they want. Unfortunately they learned the wrong lesson. What's-his-name the project lead said on the forums that in retrospect he should have cut content rather than re-use environments. But that's wrong. The solution isn't to cut content to make a declared by fiat release date, it is to set the release date once you have the content you need.

Of course the biggest reason DAII was so poorly received was because Bioware lost the PR war before the game was even released through totally hamfisted statements by their marketing team. You do not succeed by alienating your core market and having them frothing at the mouth angry at you before the game even reaches the shelves. They may not be a massive demographic but they are a loud and dedicated one, and their opinion and word of mouth will affect your sales far more than their pure numbers would suggest.

I hope Bioware takes the right lessons from DAII and doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater because for every misstep they also made an improvement. It's not like DAO was a perfect game and the solution to DAII's reception is to go back and make a carbon copy of DAO.
posted by Justinian at 10:52 PM on October 15, 2011 [7 favorites]

I enjoyed DA2 once I started thinking of it as a story set in the same world as DAO, but not a direct sequel to DAO. The repetitive maps and bad guys spawning in waves was annoying, but I liked the story and the characters (and oh my god no more having to switch ranged/melee weapons, yay!). The first DLC for it (Legacy) I thought was awesome--new darkspawn lore! This one I thought was reasonably amusing and fun, if a bit frothy.

And 'Qunari' refers to a follower of the Qun. The big horned guys are kossith, who usually are Qunari. /pushes up nerd glasses.

... now how about a DLC that lets you romance Varric?
posted by lovecrafty at 11:02 PM on October 15, 2011

I hear so much about the hypothetical Varric romance that I wouldn't be surprised if Bioware actually did one.

And then I would hand them all of my money.

posted by NoraReed at 11:08 PM on October 15, 2011

This is closer to Red: Werewolf Hunter than The Guild.
posted by unmake at 12:39 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Most RPGs are kind of bad fanfiction to begin with. You get to make your character special before you've even started the game, let alone once you've completed some quests. But watching it play out as a video is like reading someone else's fanfiction, and that's never as fun as the author intended.

That said, it'll probably look better after a couple episodes.
posted by Kaleidolia at 2:33 AM on October 16, 2011

I really liked DA when I started playing it, but the combat lost me. Even with pausing it felt like there was too much going on at once, I never felt like my characters were doing exactly what I wanted, and the whole aggro management felt very artificial to me.

To be fair, the pause to act has bugged me since BG, though I think Baulder's Gate did it better then any following game. Really, I want so someone to make a modern, non-jRPG tactical RPG. Real-time is so dominant these days it is annoying.
posted by Canageek at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2011

And 'Qunari' refers to a follower of the Qun. The big horned guys are kossith, who usually are Qunari. /pushes up nerd glasses.

I haven't watched this yet, but I did play the DLC. Day's character is a member of the Ben-Hassrath, who I gather are the intelligence branch of the Qunari and include members of many races. She says she used to be selfish like Isabela, but now she fights for something she believes in.

I was disappointed in DA2, but since I bought the damned thing I might as well get what I can out of it. Mark of the Assassin is okay when you're already used to DA2's flaws. It's nice to get out of Kirkwall and the banter is entertaining, but yeah, playing hide and seek with ze Orlesians can get a bit tedious.

OTOH, if you liked DA:O, the Legacy DLC is worth getting. I enjoyed it more than any other part of DA2.
posted by homunculus at 9:45 AM on October 16, 2011

... now how about a DLC that lets you romance Varric?

I want one for Bethany. Taboos be damned, and she's not really my sister anyway. And now that fop Sebastian is making eyes at her.

posted by homunculus at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2011

...I think I ship it now.
posted by NoraReed at 11:58 AM on October 16, 2011

... Maker nooooooooooooooooo!
posted by lovecrafty at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2011

lovecrafty and homonculus: thanks for clearing that up! I've only played DAO and none of its DLC, so I wasn't aware that Qunari didn't automatically mean "the really big people". Neat!
posted by kavasa at 3:56 PM on October 16, 2011

See, I think that's pure spin. You'd have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see the reaction coming. What caught them off guard wasn't the reaction of the hardcore fans, it was the widespread impact of that reaction. A more accurate statement from Bioware would be along the lines of "We knew we would alienate hardcore fans with some of our design decisions but we believed that demographic no longer had the impact on the modern video game market that it once did. We believed that by streamlining the game mechanics and making it more action oriented we would widen our consumer base enough to drown out the old school fans whom we deliberately threw under the bus in our marketing campaign."

Has there been a more misguided marketing push for a game since the "John Romero's about to make you his bitch... suck it down." ad for Daikatana? They basically came out and said that fans of the first Dragon Age were dinosaurs out of step with modern gaming.
posted by Justinian at 5:59 PM on October 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Day was interviewed at the Onion AV Club about, among other things, Dragon Age: Redemption.
posted by jedicus at 8:49 AM on October 18, 2011

I agree, Justinian. Don't miss the comment by TerrorK, who says much the same.
posted by homunculus at 12:10 PM on October 18, 2011

« Older Whale Fall   |   The Strategy? "Pitch Swift." Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments