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Ffordesoon avatar 3:46 PM on 04.20.2011  (server time)
An Open Letter To BioWare

Dear BioWare,

I love you guys. I think you're great, and I think Dragon Age 2 is a very good game indeed.

Nevertheless, we have got to talk.

I understand that you probably put the multiple waves of enemies in DA2 so the combat still felt challenging, right? Like, you wanted players to feel empowered 'cause they're making dudes explode, but you wanted them to be challenged by the sheer amount of dudes, yeah? I get it, okay?

Please never do that in a DA game again. Ever.


Leave it unbalanced if you must, but please don't invalidate my favorite thing about Origins' combat system, okay? I love pretty much everything about this new combat system (give or take a few niggling flaws and underdeveloped features), and I think you should develop it in future DA games, but please, for God's sake, don't lie to me about how many enemies there are in a room. I don't feel challenged at all. I feel bored. Tactical gameplay in the pause-and-plan style is all about sizing up how best to decimate the enemies in a given combat space. If I murder all of them, I don't want to see some more guys swing in from nowhere like some dumb version of Spider-Man, okay? I want the satisfaction of knowing that I successfully planned and executed a combat strategy, and every time some more asshole bastards appear after I've seemingly cleared a room (which is every goddamned fight, give or take), you are robbing me of that joy. Yeah, I suppose I could adapt to the situation or whatever, but this isn't a situation where I'm, say, sneaking into an enemy military installation or something, okay? You have not emotionally prepared me for the possibility of more guys appearing; it just happens, for no goddamn reason at all.

I know there were multiple waves of enemies in certain parts of Origins, and God knows I had problems with that combat system, but at least you had the decency to precede each wave of enemies with a short cutscene, instead of making me feel like you guys are offstage going, "Hey, Neil, why'n'tcha crowbar open that crate of enemies? I think he's about done with this load." You know? I'm gonna put the thing on Casual for the rest of the game now, and I want you guys to know that it's not because I don't know how to defeat your enemies, nor is it because you've made the game too hard. I love roguelikes and SRPGs like Tactics Ogre and Disgaea, okay? I like a challenge just fine. But after forty hours of multi-wave attacks, I want to do whatever I can to shorten the amount of time spent fighting those useless, boring second and third waves you've burdened me with and finish the game, okay? I'm an adult now. Respect my time and money by not using these dumb tricks on me, okay? If you really need all your enemy encounters to be challenging, why don't you design the encounters that way, or at least make the enemies' AI better. You guys are smart. You'll think of something.

Just... Please, oh, please. Never do this again. Not ever. Your players deserve better, and you can do better.

Your friend and fan,


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