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#1
Mike Laidlaw

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Hey guys and gals,

As some of you have noted, I have been absent from these forums for a time, and my apologies for going dark, but I did not feel prepared to deal with some of the more personal attacks in a professional manner. And as a rule if I don't feel like I'm going to be professional, I don't post. You guys deserve better than that.

Now, while I haven't been posting, we have been listening. Several folks have been active on the forums and moderating the more extreme discussions, and more of us have been collecting your feedback, concerns, criticisms and the parts you enjoyed of DA II. This feedback is invaluable to us, and so I wanted to take a moment and say thank you.

I’d like to take this opportunity to address some lingering concerns and clear the air somewhat.

Following the launch of DA II, I did some interviews and some of you interpreted my statements to mean I was blind to the concerns that have been voiced repeatedly on these forums. That was never my intent, nor the message I wanted to convey.

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.

Finally, let me conclude by saying that while we are all aware of your concerns, I am very proud of what the team accomplished with Dragon Age II. I know many are advocating a "it wasn't broke, why did you try to fix it?" stance, and I absolutely understand why. From my perspective, as someone looking to the future and the DA franchise, I think that DA II moved us into a space that has more potential.

A larger potential audience? Sure, who wouldn’t want more players diving into the experience of playing an RPG? More importantly, though, I believe that there's also more potential for rich stories, for deeper RPG mechanics, for more choice, and for something even more epic to come. The story events of DA 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.

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.

In the mean time, though, I stumbled across a few images I thought I might share with you folks. After all, there’s been a lot of requests to explore areas outside of Kirkwall, and I agree that seeing some more of the
Free Marches would be cool.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image


Also, there seem to be rather a lot of….are those griffins?
I think they might be!

Edited by Mike Laidlaw, 26 May 2011 - 10:30 PM.


#2
DOYOURLABS

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And thank you for making Dragon Age 2! I personally loved it, and I love the new direction BioWare took it in. I look forward to the DLC and expansions.

#3
lionalio87

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May I ask you a naive question: Are you going to fix the re-use area, or planning the new regions/areas around kirkwall and free marches? If yes, this would be the most wonderful new I've heard about DA2 since its first release

#4
ZombiePowered

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Uh oh. I don't think we're in Kirkwall anymore.

In all seriousness, though, you've taken this... feedback... like a champ. Kudos to you, sir!

And I eagerly await whatever those screens are from. And the opportunity to put those griffons back in the extinction pile where they belong. If The Warden didn't get to fly one, no one does, damnit.

Edited by ZombiePowered, 26 May 2011 - 10:57 PM.


#5
KnightofPhoenix

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You had me at Griffins!

On a more serious note. I am afraid I *personally* am going to remain skeptical until I get something more concrete, which I hope doesn't sound unreasonable or condescending.

That said, I certainly appreciate your post Mr. Laidlaw, and your recognition of a lot of the major criticisms (mine at least) and I hope that they will indeed be fixed. Breaking the silence was an encouraging step and I will be looking forward to more info on DA3.

And for what it's worth, I appreciate the high level of professionalism Bioware and its staff displayed despite coming under fire.

Edited by KnightofPhoenix, 26 May 2011 - 10:39 PM.


#6
Blood-Lord Thanatos

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Mike, allow me to speak for the veterans:

THIS IS THE BESTEST SODDING UPDATE EVER!

I salute the Developers for having the courage to keep calm and carry on like true artists. I wish to point out that I have been waiting patiently for some awesome story based DLC and some more patches before I give my personal review of your product. I say this because I wish to be fair to the Dev's, including David, Jennifer, Kirby, John, and the rest.

#7
Realmzmaster

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I wish to thank Mike Laidlaw for listening to the criticism, concerns, thoughts and ideas about DA2 and the DA franchise. I also would like to thank you for DA2. It is not everything I hoped for after Origins, but it was a good game with flaws IMO. I hope the DLC and DA3 really do push the awesome button.

#8
Guest_Guest12345_*

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Hi Mike, thanks for the post and the new screens. I hope you can return to the active role you had on these forums in the past. You have been sorely missed!

#9
Thibbledorf26

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I'd like to thank you for having the courage to post a clear response to the lingering issues in this forum, it can't have been easy, but was necessary. Sometimes I think people forget everybody involved in a game - players who like/dislike it, as well as developers are human. I personally was disappointed with DA2 and found it average (although it was better in some aspects), and loved DAO. I am very happy to hear that you have received all the feedback and clarified your statements. I give you a lot of credit for that. And I am happy to see new areas to explore (DLC or DA3?) and the possible return of Griffins!

#10
_Aine_

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KnightofPhoenix wrote...

That said, I certainly appreciate your post Mr. Laidlaw, and your recognition of a lot of the major criticisms (mine at least) and I hope that they will indeed be fixed. Breaking the silence was an encouraging step and I will be looking forward to more info on DA3.

And for what it's worth, I appreciate the high level of professionalism Bioware and its staff displayed despite coming under fire.


I second this.  The communication is one of the things that kept me in these forums when I first got DAO and loved it so decided to check the forums out, when any other time I probably would have been long gone by now.      

#11
Satyricon331

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That letter was very classy, and I'm looking forward to the DLC! Thanks for the update.

#12
Chromie

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This is a pleasant surprise.

#13
Bryy_Miller

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That was an awesome post.

#14
Zjarcal

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DOYOURLABS wrote...

And thank you for making Dragon Age 2! I personally loved it, and I love the new direction BioWare took it in. I look forward to the DLC and expansions.


Thanks from me as well!

It's good to hear you guys are taking notes of the things that didn't work and the things that have been highly criticized. Not that I ever doubted that you were collecting the feedback, but it's good to see this nonetheless.

Personally, I am really looking forward to DA3 as well as all future DA2 DLC.

:wizard:

#15
Master Shiori

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Thank you for sharing the info with us Mike. It's good to hear that you folks at Bioware are taking all the feedback (good and bad) into account and that it'll make a difference for future Dragon Age games.
Personally, I loved DA2 despite it's flaws and am looking forward to whatever you guys and gals release in the future.

P.S. Those images look sweet!

#16
Ariella

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Mike,

Thanks, first of all for DA2 and Hawke, which I consider great additions to my gaming library and pantheon of RPG characters respectively. Those screenies look awesome, but I have to ask... am I right about Kirkwall? Is it really a cross between 1920s Chicago and Hell :)?

Again, thank you for putting up with this, I'm glad you're back, You really have been missed.

#17
They call me a SpaceCowboy

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Hi Mike, I don't blame you for not wanting to participate when there were personal attacks flying about. That sort of thing was very imapprtopriate and I hope the guilty parties were banned, at least as far as death threats and so on go.

You didn't mention it, and I assume you are aware, but I think the biggest problem was the rushing of the game. I suspect given more time, some of the noted problems would ahve had time to be improved on before release.

#18
Guest_LesEnfantsTerribles_*

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Such a gesture is most definitely appreciated, Mr. Laidlaw. I thank you for creating such an engrossing, immersive and memorable experience, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment in the Dragon Age series. Again, thank you, and good luck!

#19
jlb524

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Thanks for the pics and...I can't wait for some more Hawke (plz plz plz DLC plz).

#20
KennethAFTopp

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Respect and hats off to you Mr. Laidlaw, even though I haven't been able to finish DAII, you sir are a consumate professional and did not deserve the more personal attacks. Peace also I don't see any griffons :(

#21
Mr.House

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Well it's good to know your taking criticism, I will admit I have been harsh on you in the past so I'm sorry for that, I just hope you and the team try to make DA3 good and not rush it like DA2. ALso those pics look nice.

Also thanks for DA2, it's a rough game but it did bring alot of my fav characters! :wizard:

Edited by Mr.House, 26 May 2011 - 10:56 PM.


#22
Guest_rynluna_*

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Thank you Mr. Laidlaw, for a great game.

#23
The Uncanny

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Zjarcal wrote...

DOYOURLABS wrote...

And thank you for making Dragon Age 2! I personally loved it, and I love the new direction BioWare took it in. I look forward to the DLC and expansions.


Thanks from me as well!


Thirded. I loved it too. So thank you! ^_^

#24
Cutlasskiwi

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It's nice hearing from you again.

I'm very excited about future Dragon Age installments so get back to work!

#25
HK-90210

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You're welcome.Posted Image

Naw, but seriously, I haven't seen a more negative backlash for a game since...ever. So thank you for being a good sport, and taking most(OK, half? One quarter?)  of it as construtive critisism by fans that love Dragon Age, and want to see it succed. I look forward to the future of this franchise, and wish you good luck in making it a bigger, and better story for fans, both new and old.

So....Griffins, you say?

Edited by CastonFolarus, 26 May 2011 - 10:57 PM.