Laidlaw: Dragon Age II’s weaknesses “must be improved”

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 04:58 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Dragon Age lead designer Mike Laidlaw has responded to criticism of Dragon Age II, thanking players for feedback and standing by the game’s narrative elements.

Writing on the BioWare forums, Laidlaw said he’d refrained from posting while tempers were running hot but hadn’t been deaf to complaints.

“I am absolutely aware of the concerns voiced here,” he said.

“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 [have] 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 [Dragon Age II] that not only can but must be improved in future installments. And that is precisely our intent.”

Adding that he felt “very proud” of the development team’s work on Dragon Age II, he said the sequel had pushed the series into a “space that has more potential”.

“Potential for rich stories, for deeper RPG mechanics, for more choice, and for something even more epic to come. The story events of [Dragon Age II] have fundamentally altered the political and power landscape of Thedas, in a way that’s open to intrigue, drama and sweeping conflict in the future, and evolves a world that, while still very much involving the Grey Wardens and Darkspawn, is about more than just that one struggle.”

The designer said the studio is looking at some way to formalise feedback from fans, since it had been so helpful.

“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.

“I hope that in the future we’ll be able to discuss how we’re addressing your concerns and even solicit feedback from you on future plans in the process, but for now, I hope a simple thank you will suffice.”

Laidlaw also posted a number of environmental artworks, again dropping slight hints of upcoming DLC.

Dragon Age II released to mixed reviews, drawing criticism for recycled assets, limited environments, and repetitive combat and quests.

Thanks, CVG.

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