Dragon Age Inquisition was Bioware's Worst RPG to Date

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Well I finally finished it. Took me several months to do so, with long breaks inbetween. I'd like to say it was entirely due to other games being terribly compelling, but truth be told DA:I lost me repeatedly because it was so god damned tedious.

I'm honestly shocked at the acclaim it has gotten. The calls of a "return to form" for the studio, or that it is their best RPG in years. One writer even said it eclipsed Telltale in terms of high impact decision making and moral quandaries. I'd like some of what that writer was smoking when he wrote that. As much as I disliked KOTOR and raged at DA2's reused environments and ME3's shaggy dog of an ending, this feels like the worst calamity yet. A hapless stew pot of contradictory features and ideas held together by a ridiculously substandard central narrative and dogged by a host of questionable game design decisions.

Shall I substantiate?

MECHANICS

1. How anyone could play this game for 5 minutes and not immediately divine the need for a "loot all" function is beyond my wildest imagination. Manually scooting between tiny ground colored loot pouches, one for each of the half dozen enemies you just killed, is extraordinarily tedious. And the tiny inventory size ensures you'll want to be selective about what you loot, too, meaning you'll constantly be re-pinging the same pouch you just went over a minute ago.

2. On the subject of manually scooting, the inability to move-to-target with a click doesn't just make looting a chore, it makes melee combat a calamity. One the developers very evidently realized and tried to compensate for by including a variety of leap-to/charge-to target skills, or the ability to pull your target to you. It feels lousy.

3. Combat in general stinks. DA:O had good combat, DA2 had a mixed bag of combat, DA:I has almost entirely worthless combat. Difficulty scaling is accomplished through the tried and true "bag of hitpoints" method, made truly ridiculous when armor and barriers are added in. On normal difficulty your party of trans-dimensional demon slayers could easily spend upwards of two minutes whittling down the average bear. The "tactical" view is a cruel joke and almost entirely without merit.

4. The loot is lackluster, suffering from the same illness that dogged Diablo 3 at launch. There is little to no character to loot, it's all a bunch of generic gear with similar looking skins and bland stats. Rare or epic items are the same as regular items, just "more stats".

5. Crafting requires a ridiculous amount of resources, and resource gathering is an inexplicable chore (this, at least, is a time honored Bioware tradition). The might of the Inquisition can rattle nations, but can only manage to bring back 3 bits of stone, and you need 15 to make a pommel.

6. The War Table was an interesting idea with an absolutely dreadful implementation. World of Warcraft is a time sink MMO designed to be played for hundreds of hours, and its "follower" missions are both quicker/easier to run and infinitely more rewarding. What developer thought it was a good idea to dispatch a follower on a 10 hour mission, only to have them return with 30 influence and a grey item?

7. The game delights in shoehorning idiotic jumping puzzles into a game that absolutely cannot handle it. The terrible jumping and frictionless terrain make it an exercise in frustration and futility.

8. The vast open world areas can be traversed with a mount, but you can't interact with anything from it, it barely moves faster than your run when it canters, and if you move it to a gallop it will break stride the second it comes into contact with a pebble or protruding root.

STORY

1. Absolutely lame-duck central narrative, somehow eclipsing the first game's generic "A dread evil stalks the land" retread. The primary antagonist is lackluster, and the pacing is completely shot to hell. Even if you want to accelerate the central story you can't, because you have to "buy power" by doing pointless grub work out in the wilds.

2. A host of characters, some very good, some quite awful, none of which ever get to fully establish themselves because the usual spate of character building side quests has been abandoned in favor of bilious assloads of filler. You'll find nothing like ME2's companion quests here, instead you'll be returning Farmer Winterbutt's lost Druffalo or collecting bits of sparkly rock.

3. A lot of established factions acting very out of character for reasons that are never properly established in-game. There is no flow from story element to story element, just big story set pieces that frequently arrive out of nowhere, book-ended by some of the most dreary content ever to populate an RPG.

BUGS/ERRATA

1. The load times are the worst I've seen since the 90's. That the game delights in spiriting you to a separate location for a 30 second scene, with full load times in-between, only compounds the issue.

2. Lots of flickering textures and assorted weirdness in cut-scenes.

3. The inexplicable "drop to 30 FPS" or lower during cut-scenes, regardless of PC power.

4. War Table had a lot of visual bugs and issues. Hilariously cluttered, quest pegs staying on the board even once the quest was completed, one quest populating itself four times and actually overlapping with other quest pegs, making them impossible to click.

5. A handful of annoying crash to desktop incidences.

Some things work. The environments are absolutely gorgeous, and a ton of work went into them. The music was beautiful, the voice acting was top-notch. There are occasional stand out moments, most particularly the Orlesian Ball mission, which was so off the beaten path it actually served to highlight how lackluster most of the other content was. There were some genuinely funny moments, especially in banter, although they felt few and far between.

Ultimately the game seemed to validate the very worst fears one might have had at the concept of Bioware attempting to shoehorn a "Skyrim style" open world RPG into their series. Their "open world" was composed of a bunch of hilariously mazey, invisible-wall ridden areas packed to the absolute gills with dreadful, tedious questing. And it utterly decimated what would ordinarily be a point of strength...the central narrative, and the cast of companions. This game does not play to the studio's strengths. ME3's Citadel DLC showed that Bioware realized...too late for ME3...that what people really loved was their characters. It seemed promising, like they'd had an epiphany and would be returning to their roots. Instead, we get this lumbering abomination of a game, pulling itself in seventy different directions at once, and succeeding virtually nowhere as a result.

DA2 was an ambitious failure undone by a lack of development time and resources. ME3 was a dramatic finale that was derailed by an eleventh hour artistic coup. DA:I feels like a game that collapsed under the weight of feature creep, its merits obscured by one's inability to play a half hour without banging into a half dozen different wrongheaded decisions, bugs, or lousy mechanics.

I'm super annoyed with it, because it could have been so much better.

I could argue on the "Worst" but it's not very good and that's with their SJW Kool-Aid drinking aside.

• The dialogue is beyond cliche

• Horrible AI (i.e. they're dumb as mud) obviously not improved from the last 2 games

• Camera controls could use some work

• Forgettable recruit characters and end boss

• The hair cuts of varnish wood are back as well as the dopey facial expressions like they're all on drugs

• Graphics look like something from 2007 Someone should tell Bioware this is 2015

• Pacing is horrible it gets better after about 20 hours sort of like Final Fantasy 13 but that's not really a strong suit

• Multiplayer is like Dead Space 2 multiplayer in that it's boring and forgettable.

• Quests are MMO type quests once again not a strong suit especially for a single player game

• Bugs, bugs and oh yeah bugs. You'll need to keep a few saves. This is a beta, not a release. Don't listen to what they say - the quality of this game is late alpha or early beta quality at best.

I really don't know what to say other than I disagree???? (read with my voice pitching up an octave as I shrug my shoulders). I played on console so I can't really speak to the problems you had on that front but with everything else, I found the characters and story compelling, the quests interesting and the combat fun. I definitely, agree with the problem you had with the mounts and I think the loot definitely could have been improved so that you got better stuff more often but I actually really enjoyed the crafting system and didn't think the requirements were too high.

I also really don't understand how people always complain about all the "filler" in the game and the "pointless tedious sidequests". You do realize that it's optional right? Like people complained about how large and how long they stayed in the Hinterlands but you could always travel somewhere else or do other main quests, nobody is forcing you to do quests you think are boring, and you don't have to stay in any one area. Personally, I thought the quests were a good time sink where I could explore the environment and banter with companions and enjoy the combat which I all liked.

The major problems I had with the game are the fact that you can't personally allocate your ability scores anymore so I thought character customization was limited in that regard and I think the multiplayer is absolutely awful. There were alot of bugs when I played as well with people hovering around or dialogue and banter not being triggered properly but many of those bugs have since been fixed in patches.

Obviously, many of your complaints are valid and I've heard that the PC release was really poorly put together so our experiences aren't comparable in that regard but I was willing to overlook the problems you had and I really had fun with the game. I'm sorry it annoyed you so much.

Joseph Harrison:
I also really don't understand how people always complain about all the "filler" in the game and the "pointless tedious sidequests". You do realize that it's optional right? Like people complained about how large and how long they stayed in the Hinterlands but you could always travel somewhere else or do other main quests, nobody is forcing you to do quests you think are boring, and you don't have to stay in any one area. Personally, I thought the quests were a good time sink where I could explore the environment and banter with companions and enjoy the combat which I all liked.

They are optional to a point. A certain power threshold is still required to even trigger the main story quests, so a certain amount of faffing about delivering letters and picking flowers is mandatory. Beyond that, the game is positively niggardly in terms of doling out experience and gold, which incentivizes doing the loathsome side quests.

There are ways to create optional/side activities and make them at least fitfully entertaining, if not outright engaging. MMOs deal with this quandry all the time, and Bioware accomplished the same goal to a significantly better degree in their own SWTOR.

I liked Inquisition well enough but even so it very well might be.

For an rpg there's depressingly little actual role-playing in the game. The vast majority upwards of 80 to 90% of the quests require absolutely no player input and none of the decisions the player makes seem to have much consequence to them in the grand scheme of things. You can have some effect on your companions characters and councilors, but even then what dialogue and decisions actually count and what is filler is perplexingly deceptive. For example say one wrong thing to Leliana during a seemingly inconsequential bit of dialogue early in the game and regardless of the rest of your interactions with her, she's going to become cold and bitter in the end. I understand the whole 'even little things matter' mindset but it needs to make sense.

Inqusition also lacked the emotional sucker-punches that Bioware are known for always trying to deliver. Kotor has the Revan reveal, Baldur's Gate 2 has the asylum, Mass Effect had the big Sovereign moment and even Jade Empire had the betrayal. By contrast Inqusition had... erm... finding out Cassandra really liked romance novels? I mean what else was there. Maybe that time you go into the fade and a side-character dies, but even that was more perplexing than emotional and it really had almost no real bearing on the plot of the game itself. It felt like a side-quest.

Speaking of having no bearing on the plot, the main character in Inqusition was also kind of lame. You're not given very many opportunities to really roleplay a character and that's a shame since there was a lot of potential given the games religious overtones. In a game like Mass Effect it makes sense that everyone's Shepard is going to be at least somewhat similar because ultimately you're playing as Shepard, an established character you're helping to shape, not create. Whereas in Inquisition you're meant to try and create a character and imbue them with a personality of your own... only the game gives you few opportunity to do so. Even Inquisitions own predecessor Origins did this better by giving characters their own unique introductions and having their race/class have a potentially large bearing on dialogue throughout the game. Inquisition lacks that despite also allowing different race/class combinations.

Still for what it's worth the game had its good points as well, I just wish they'd been combined with more of an rpg instead of what kinda felt like a singleplayer MMO. I agree fully with the idea that one of the most frustrating parts of playing Inquisition is that you feel it could easily have just been so much better. The potential is there it just never quite reaches it.

I know it sounds heretical but I'm really hoping there's some great DLC released for Inqusition. Bioware's track record with dlc is pretty good and if something with enough substance was delivered on par with Mass Effect's Shadow Broker or Citadel DLC the potential is still there to maybe make something great of this otherwise thoroughly 'meh' game.

BloatedGuppy:

BUGS/ERRATA

1. The load times are the worst I've seen since the 90's. That the game delights in spiriting you to a separate location for a 30 second scene, with full load times in-between, only compounds the issue.

2. Lots of flickering textures and assorted weirdness in cut-scenes.

3. The inexplicable "drop to 30 FPS" or lower during cut-scenes, regardless of PC power.

4. War Table had a lot of visual bugs and issues. Hilariously cluttered, quest pegs staying on the board even once the quest was completed, one quest populating itself four times and actually overlapping with other quest pegs, making them impossible to click.

5. A handful of annoying crash to desktop incidences.

now I agreed with most of your complaints, maybe not as passionately, but I could easily see where you were coming from at the least.

However, this part got me, what kind of rig are you running? from day 1 my game ran like a smooth champ, I did their little benchmark gig and I was averaging 54 fps with the lowest dropping to 35 at one moment and I don't exactly have TOP of the line stuff, pretty good, but not bleeding edge. My load times weren't that bad, they certainly weren't 5 seconds or anything, but they weren't like running oblivion on the ps3 bad.

Some things work. The environments are absolutely gorgeous, and a ton of work went into them. The music was beautiful, the voice acting was top-notch. There are occasional stand out moments, most particularly the Orlesian Ball mission, which was so off the beaten path it actually served to highlight how lackluster most of the other content was. There were some genuinely funny moments, especially in banter, although they felt few and far between.

I do agree with this part especially, after playing the orlesian ball mission, basically anything else *stares at the entire hinterlands* was fucking horrible in comparison.

I honestly was surprised with how many awards this damn game got, but I think that was more on not many strong rpg's coming out later in 2014 rather than the game being "good". As someone who really finds bethesda games to be boring, I'd fire one of those back up any day of the week over inquisition, which is saying something.

The Madman:

Inqusition also lacked the emotional sucker-punches that Bioware are known for always trying to deliver. Kotor has the Revan reveal, Baldur's Gate 2 has the asylum, Mass Effect had the big Sovereign moment and even Jade Empire had the betrayal. By contrast Inqusition had... erm... finding out Cassandra really liked romance novels? I mean what else was there. Maybe that time you go into the fade and a side-character dies, but even that was more perplexing than emotional and it really had almost no real bearing on the plot of the game itself. It felt like a side-quest.

Speaking of having no bearing on the plot, the main character in Inqusition was also kind of lame. You're not given very many opportunities to really roleplay a character and that's a shame since there was a lot of potential given the games religious overtones. In a game like Mass Effect it makes sense that everyone's Shepard is going to be at least somewhat similar because ultimately you're playing as Shepard, an established character you're helping to shape, not create. Whereas in Inquisition you're meant to try and create a character and imbue them with a personality of your own... only the game gives you few opportunity to do so. Even Inquisitions own predecessor Origins did this better by giving characters their own unique introductions and having their race/class have a potentially large bearing on dialogue throughout the game. Inquisition lacks that despite also allowing different race/class combinations.

Still for what it's worth the game had its good points as well, I just wish they'd been combined with more of an rpg instead of what kinda felt like a singleplayer MMO. I agree fully with the idea that one of the most frustrating parts of playing Inquisition is that you feel it could easily have just been so much better. The potential is there it just never quite reaches it.

ooh completely agreed with this as well, between the different arc "checkpoints", there weren't any real big moments that did anything for me..hell even the end, I sat there thinking "wow..really? that was incredibly underwhelming, hell even the archdemon from the first game felt like a bigger accomplishment than this."

i agree with most of that.

the war table shit is some of the most asinine addition to the franchise especially considering that players have already paid for the game and now you're forcing them to wait, completely gameplay less, after some mission that you actually need to complete to finish specific quests. Or more accurately, forcing to to go to the dashboard to advance into the future. outstanding.

the story sucks, the crafting's useless when you fall dick first unto better equipment every ten feet and the side quests are as soulless as i've ever seen bioware be.

I've tried defending it a first because i'm a prideful person and bioware's my bae, but this semi open world shit was an horrendous decision and I can only hope that this was only a phase.

so this is my coming out and it feels very liberating.

inquisition sucks.

gmaverick019:
However, this part got me, what kind of rig are you running? from day 1 my game ran like a smooth champ, I did their little benchmark gig and I was averaging 54 fps with the lowest dropping to 35 at one moment and I don't exactly have TOP of the line stuff, pretty good, but not bleeding edge. My load times weren't that bad, they certainly weren't 5 seconds or anything, but they weren't like running oblivion on the ps3 bad.

Relatively new quad core. 770. Plenty of RAM. Inquisition is the first game I've given it that it stuttered even a little on. For the most part it runs beautifully, minus the unacceptable load times and the bizarre FPS drop in cut-scenes.

I'll take this moment to touch on something I forgot about in my OP...

Why "The Inquisition"? Whose idea was that? "Inquisitions" carry a certain...sinister weight in our vernacular. Why not "The Alliance" or even "The Crusade"? What Inquiries were we making, exactly? We were defying a big lumpy demon. From the moment it was formed, I felt a curious sense of remove from my own cause. The game flirts around the edge of "What will become of this powerful institution you've built once you've finished your mission" and the high cost of power and all that, but then proceeds to do absolutely jack squat with it.

Felt like a bizarre tonal misstep to me.

I would say I disagree but then im one of the few people who disliked balders gate. yeah I know im a heretic for saying that but the game just wasn't fun for me.(which is weird cause I routinely play both D&D and pathfinder have a blast and like DA:O go figure)
I will agree the war table crap was annoying at best and tedious at worst, I mean why cant I send them off from say the camp im currently at instead of running back to skyhold all the fucking time? or better yet why not make an app like dying lights so I can send my people out while im not playing so I can burn through the chains faster?

You forgot the oh-so compeling character of Corypheus.

I don't know what is with Bioware making come hither eyes to Japan lately, first with Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3 looking like some Metal Gear Solid reject, and now Corypheus who looks like he got pulled straight out of a Capcom game.

tl;dr

anyway yes, worst bioware I've ever played. I can't bring myself to finish it

I was all set to say, "Nuh uh! Dragon Age II exists!" but then I remembered that I still haven't really even played Inquisiton, despite it sitting on my HDD for the last few months.

The PC controls are just abhorrent. I mean, genuinely, sincerely, awful.

And the kicker is this:

"The combat HUD was created specifically for PC-"

No.

Just no.

No and fuck you sideways.

"The tactical camera in pause and play is just like what you would expect from Origins-"

Oh.

Nevermind. They're just deliberately fucking with me.

EA's "USE FROSTBITE. USE THE PROPRIETARY ENGINE." mandate seems to have borked things quite a bit.

BloatedGuppy:

3. The inexplicable "drop to 30 FPS" or lower during cut-scenes, regardless of PC power.

I believe there's a way to override this on PC gaming wiki, it seems this was done to avoid bugs in the animations.

We have new consoles with new engines, performance is going to be crap for a while (yes even on PCs)

Even from an SSD the loading times are ridiculously high. I pretty much built my rig anew a month ago but it still takes far too long to load anything. Also I love how they show you those cards you can read while loading happens only to then switch to a black screen to load for another eon with nothing to do.

This game made me really glad the good games guarantee of Origin exists. I played for a day and realized that it's not really for me.

I pretty much agree with all the points Guppy made but would like to add some more:

1.) Playing a mage I found pretty much every skill to be totally boring. Statical prison was kinda creative but the rest? Yeah fire explosion this, then the exact same spell but this time it's a mine! The same for lightning...this is chain lightning...this is lightning but this time it comes from above still hitting multiple enemies! With all the other characters I met it was the same. Pretty much just skill up one respective tree blind because the skills are all the same.

2.) Weird lip syncing issues. The lip movements had pretty much nothing to do with what the characters were saying. This happened mostly right at the beginning. Combined with the facial expressions some of the characters have...The smiling of my inquisitor was horrifying at times!

3.) Why did they put gloves and pants into armour modification? Who thought that it would be a great idea? It accomplishes nothing but making the interface more tedious.

4.) The auto-attack they added in a recent patch is a joke. You can't put it on a mouse button, so you always have to use another key to enable this. Also afaik it immediately is interrupted if you move.

ecoho:
I would say I disagree but then im one of the few people who disliked balders gate. yeah I know im a heretic for saying that but the game just wasn't fun for me.(which is weird cause I routinely play both D&D and pathfinder have a blast and like DA:O go figure)

I can understand this, even though I love BG. Was this related to the combat system? Because especially the beginning of BG1 is horrible in respect to combat. Watching a warrior and a kobold fighting it out but constantly missing and the first one to hit wins because its nearly instant death at that point. Later on I found the combat annoying because it was pretty much decided by mages alone. Although if you're playing D&D you should be used to this :D

I can agree wholeheartedly, OP. It was a horrible experience, though for me, drops were useless and I had to rely on crafting for better armour and weapons.

I'd like to see what the game would be like if you removed the filler and power requirements and played the story pieces one after the other. It's be so weird and such a dull game :/

BloatedGuppy:
I'm honestly shocked at the acclaim it has gotten. The calls of a "return to form" for the studio, or that it is their best RPG in years. One writer even said it eclipsed Telltale in terms of high impact decision making and moral quandaries.

Was it in an actual review? Could you name and shame? If I go to a site where that writer's 'working', I should probably boycott it from now on... That's just embarrassing.

Aside from that: agreed - with a few frowny, um-and-ah'ing caveats - on DA:I being BioWare's biggest misstep to date. I also found it almost impossible to understand how it could've got such positive 'official' reception.

I would say its story was dreadful - and it kinda was... However, in practise it was really more the story of the Inquisition itself, so I can cut it some slack on that note, in terms of just not really having a plot worth a damn.

Does Corypheus win the prize for Least Effective/Interesting BioWare Antagonist Evah? I'd say he storms home with the prize, proving nothing but his ineptitude from start to finish. He fucks up the Anchor, he fails at Haven, his seemingly limitless army achieves almost nothing, he fails to beat you to the mirror/pool-of-whogivesafuck, and his last stand is him just being pissy in what amounts to a 'come at me, bro!' 1-v-1 when he has no more dopey plans to fail at.

I found the 'revelations' towards the end about the elves shocking: because I couldn't believe BioWare thought that counted as a 'reveal'... So there are even more hipster elves than the Dalish? Elfier elves, to nick Sera's term. Er, great?

Combat was so much a joke it barely qualifies as a mechanic. I never cared about what skills my party members took, as DA:I gutted Tactics, leaving it a hollow shell of a combat system, where nothing feels particularly consequential (in DA:O and II I'd combine powers for clear tactical advantages. in this? I just spammed powers when their cooldown reset, largely just to break up the mind frying monotony).

And yeah, damage sponge design for enemies is pathetic, compounded by the fact you barely have variety in the brainless fodder you go up against.

It should also be noted that on 360, Inquisition is something akin to a technical catastrophe - or joke. Either the 360 can't cope with what they tried to do (doubtful), or their 360 optimisation was handed out to the game-hating tea boy at weekends... (more likely)

HOWEVER...

As the game shambled on, I found myself enjoying it more and more. Was my will finally broken? Perhaps... But once I'd sussed out 90% of the SP MMO 'content' was effectively utterly meaningless and without context or value, I found picking and choosing what to invest time on more enjoyable. The main 'plot' (sneer marks required) actually took a nosedive towards the end, but despite that I'd become engaged with the mostly excellently written characters. I didn't give a toss about Corypheus, or the supposed threat that failure posed. But I did enjoy talking about cookies and childhood with Sera, and - when the banter actually worked... - listening to how the various party members progressed their own little character arcs with each other.

I think DA:I does have elements of excellence (some genuinely gorgeous world and art design, and a cracking score. though they don't actually sound suitable for, y'know, taverns - some of the tavern songs were superb), it's just they're undermined by layers and layers of plain ol' bad design, or lack of ambition (plot and combat).

In the end - bar being increasingly annoyed and/or bemused with the story - I did enjoy it, and I think I'll enjoy a second and third run even more (still holding off for patch 5), given that I know just what to expect. I think the depiction of the characters as a group who clearly spend a lot of time together works better than, arguably, any other BioWare game, and character narrative is why I've always loved BioWare.

I've been loving it. I rather liked DA 2 though as well.

The PC controls are shocking though, I have got used to them but to claim it was designed for PC is an outright lie as far as I can tell.

Great review. There aren't much I could disagree upon other than the focus of it in itself. I myself doesn't really care about the gameplay aspect, loot system, leveling system, combat system or rather anything which can be seen in so many other games. I would probably not even state those things even if I myself felt the same thing in many places of your review. But I'm a person who would like a "would you like to skip the combat?" button and just focus on exploring and character dialogs so take my words as you will.

Now for me the single biggest flaw with this game, and almost every RPG out there is the roleplaying aspect. I want my character to feel part of the world and in Dragon Age Inquisition I felt more like a hollow template, and this happens in almost every RPG I've played so far. I didn't even feel like the NPC's was speaking to me, instead I was just some sort of concept to them, not a person at all.

For me, I'm rather tired of everything other than the dialogs and choices for there are literally thousands of games which focus on "hitting things for stuff" and in this game it felt like 99% of the time was dedicated to bashing things with magic and weapons.

I love the dialogs, the slow walking around taking in the aesthetics and speaking to people about themselves or anything really. There is only one memory of this game I still have, and that was the whole cardgame thing. It was perfect, everything leading up to it was impressive for me and I really felt like that was the best thing in the game and I would have loved if games hade much more focus on these things, I would have no trouble playing such a scenario for hours. My dream game would have been a 400 hour 'real' roleplaying adventure, but I know that would probably never happen.

But lets get back to the cardgame. You learned so much about the characters from that short scene, and nothing had to be asked in some sort of dialog wheel. I think that scene in itself was the best scene so far in all of gaming. by my standards ofcourse but I'm probably also forgetting alot of other games so take this statement with some salt.

In short, Dragon Age Inquisition is just another action adventure game with some skills and levels and I will probably not even remember the name of the game in a couple of years and I will never replay it. I replayed Dragon Age 1 and liked it but everything after that has been a great letdown and Dragon Age 1 wasn't even that good for me either. Still, I understand that most people doesn't want what I want and I have no problems with people having fun with whatever game they have. I'm just waiting for my type of game to come, someday, maybe.

Cheers.

BloatedGuppy:
Well I finally finished it. Took me several months to do so, with long breaks inbetween. I'd like to say it was entirely due to other games being terribly compelling, but truth be told DA:I lost me repeatedly because it was so god damned tedious.

-snip-

Suffice to say, I disagree. It wasn't an astonishing masterpiece by any measure, however it was the closest to a return to Bioware form we've got in recent years. Mass Effect 3 was simply horrid all throughout, Dragon Age II was just inexcusable and horrible, SW:TOR was pretty similar in terms of 'wow' factor to this, however its stuck with MMO nature and Freemium shenanigans that ruin the experience. Mass Effect 2 was lackluster - it had a lot of atmosphere SOMETIMES, otherwise it was shit up until the last mission. Dragon Age Origins was probably the last fairly good game they released, with Mass Effect as their best 'modern' game. I realise many will probably disagree with me, but Bioware have been seriously shooting the RPG in the foot for nearly a decade now. This is slowly starting to return to form. Not much, but it is.

MECHANICS

1. How anyone could play this game for 5 minutes and not immediately divine the need for a "loot all" function is beyond my wildest imagination. Manually scooting between tiny ground colored loot pouches, one for each of the half dozen enemies you just killed, is extraordinarily tedious. And the tiny inventory size ensures you'll want to be selective about what you loot, too, meaning you'll constantly be re-pinging the same pouch you just went over a minute ago.

Honestly, I only occasionally had loot problems. And I picked up EVERYTHING. I could spend hours out in the wilderness, and it'd still be rare for me to need more space, so I only kind of get what you're on about.
As for loot all... I don't know many games that do that actually. Most have a more immersive "You have to go to something to loot it". Fortunately for those games, they also have better controls than DA:I. And its easier to see their loot cannisters.

2. On the subject of manually scooting, the inability to move-to-target with a click doesn't just make looting a chore, it makes melee combat a calamity. One the developers very evidently realized and tried to compensate for by including a variety of leap-to/charge-to target skills, or the ability to pull your target to you. It feels lousy.

Absolutely, 100% true. Worst part of the whole game really.

3. Combat in general stinks. DA:O had good combat, DA2 had a mixed bag of combat, DA:I has almost entirely worthless combat. Difficulty scaling is accomplished through the tried and true "bag of hitpoints" method, made truly ridiculous when armor and barriers are added in. On normal difficulty your party of trans-dimensional demon slayers could easily spend upwards of two minutes whittling down the average bear. The "tactical" view is a cruel joke and almost entirely without merit.

Eh, Combat wasn't too terrible, outside the problem of controls. The "Ages to kill a bear" problem is one well known to almost all RPGs, ever. Bears, for some reason, are god-kings of the RPG world that slay even dragons. Its kind of ridiculous, its also something that's always been there. 'Difficulty curve' and all that bullshit.
Combat was, at the very least, much better than DA2s "Lets spam microstuns for 100% of our challenge". Seriously. That was the only challenge that game presented. It would spam enemies with microstuns at you to permastun the one or two non-ranged members of your party. That's even more lame than the hit point sponge method.
More COULD have been done with combat, but it was an ok start that I hope to see built upon.

4. The loot is lackluster, suffering from the same illness that dogged Diablo 3 at launch. There is little to no character to loot, it's all a bunch of generic gear with similar looking skins and bland stats. Rare or epic items are the same as regular items, just "more stats".

Agreed, though this is a problem Dragon Age has always had. I remember in Origins doing this big, secret puzzle in the Dwarven kingdom and killing a ghost dragonling in the main hall or something, and what did I get as loot? A supposedly "Epic" sword, that was named, but had the stats of the 1 hander I stole from my father's basement 30 levels ago.
I don't mind fairly plain sword designs and such - much better than hyper-anime ones - though I will agree Inquisition was especially lackluster in that regard. Swords for one were unbalanced and had less DPS than other weapons due to a slower animation, and the best looking sword in the game was the Inquisition sword Cassandra starts with... But there's no schematic for it in game. A let down really.
And yeah, loot was worthless in inquisition. So were crafted items too TBH, at least early on. I rarely upgraded my items because of it, until I unlocked the level 15 ones, and then it was a wait for the end-game crafting schematic grind which was horribly designed, before making my ultimate weapons and just destroying everything in existence.

5. Crafting requires a ridiculous amount of resources, and resource gathering is an inexplicable chore (this, at least, is a time honored Bioware tradition). The might of the Inquisition can rattle nations, but can only manage to bring back 3 bits of stone, and you need 15 to make a pommel.

To be fair, I see this as kind of them wanting you to go out into the world and find these things, rather than just get unlimited amounts via using the war table. At the same time, it is frustrating, and especially the drop rates for the fade-touched variants left me grinding for hours sometimes. I don't really have a problem with needing to go out and get 15 silverite to make a pommel - given it takes me all of 30 seconds, seeing as I know where the Silverite is - but it is a pain in the ass grinding for the correct version of fade touched silverite.
Also, what's with there only being 4 Stormheart deposits in the entire game? Seriously?

6. The War Table was an interesting idea with an absolutely dreadful implementation. World of Warcraft is a time sink MMO designed to be played for hundreds of hours, and its "follower" missions are both quicker/easier to run and infinitely more rewarding. What developer thought it was a good idea to dispatch a follower on a 10 hour mission, only to have them return with 30 influence and a grey item?

Outside of the obligatory "You didn't have to run them", I largely agree on the rewards for some of them. They provided some plot and intrigue I guess, but rewards for some of them should have been much better. I just manipulated an entire nation into signing on to help me when I need it? 30 influence. Same as I get for reading an inscription on a statue somewhere. There really isn't an excuse for this when you can just buy influence anyway. Just give more influence for the proper missions.
That said, the Staff of Tyrdr Bright Axe reward was actually really worth it.

7. The game delights in shoehorning idiotic jumping puzzles into a game that absolutely cannot handle it. The terrible jumping and frictionless terrain make it an exercise in frustration and futility.

To be honest, I didn't find a lot of jumping was needed, and I literally did EVERYTHING. 100% completionist. If you were jumping to get somewhere, odds are you didn't need to. I can think of maybe 3 to 6 cases where you had to to get one of those fragment things, and most of them were in the same map. Lag also made jumping far worse. Once you're not lagging, jumping is actually manageable. Originally, running it on a single 560Ti, it was impossible to do some of the jumping.

8. The vast open world areas can be traversed with a mount, but you can't interact with anything from it, it barely moves faster than your run when it canters, and if you move it to a gallop it will break stride the second it comes into contact with a pebble or protruding root.

Yeah, the mount was useless. I only ever used it for jumping down cliffs due to its no fall damage thing. They needed to be much faster to be useful.

STORY

1. Absolutely lame-duck central narrative, somehow eclipsing the first game's generic "A dread evil stalks the land" retread. The primary antagonist is lackluster, and the pacing is completely shot to hell. Even if you want to accelerate the central story you can't, because you have to "buy power" by doing pointless grub work out in the wilds.

I find pacing is entirely in how you play.
I NEVER had a problem with power. I ended the game with 200 excess power.
I started off by basically role playing setting up the inquisition. Screw that Farmer's Druffalo, I've got to get horses, set up guard towers, get my troops blankets and food, and deal with these Templars, Mages and Bandits that have been interfering with my operations. I finished that, and suddenly I had enough power to do everything until the next main event. And so on. And so on. And so on. The only time I can really see you being limited for power is if you're trying to speed run, and not do ANY quests but the main ones. In that case I can hardly fault Bioware for making you spend more time with your companions, or capture a couple of fortresses, or just go to some area other than the next glowing dot.
As for the plot... Standard modern Bioware fare. Generic evil stalks the land. You are called to stop it. I can't think of one of their games in the last decade that hasn't been that. Mass Effect 1 was probably the furthest from it, and I guess SWTOR as you can play as the generic evil, but still.

2. A host of characters, some very good, some quite awful, none of which ever get to fully establish themselves because the usual spate of character building side quests has been abandoned in favor of bilious assloads of filler. You'll find nothing like ME2's companion quests here, instead you'll be returning Farmer Winterbutt's lost Druffalo or collecting bits of sparkly rock.

To be honest, I LIKE the fact there aren't stupid companion quests that feel kind of forced because they couldn't find anywhere else to put that content. At the same time, yeah, the characters aren't really fleshed out enough. Some of them rely too much on you knowing them from previous games. Others are gated by the same stupid timeline bullshit that DA2 had. Still, there are distinct companion quests that still exist: Iron Bull and his chargers [The leadup was sadly more interesting than the actual quest], Blackwall and his reveal [Which was actually interesting]. There was Cullen's if you sided with the Mages, as he knew Sampson and Sampson's quests were basically Cullen's quests, and were reasonably well done. Varric had Bianca, which was also interesting and reasonably well done. Josephine had her family quest line, which was interesting and something different. Dorian had his interaction with his father. Cole and Sera had semi-quests that were more dialogue than anything, of which Coles was far and away better. The main difference I can see between these and the Mass Effect 2 quests is there was less needless shooting and boss battles in them.
The main characters I can't recall really having a quest would be Vivianne, Leliana and Solas. Solas for obvious reasons, Vivienne... I can't help but feel I missed something. I did her 'Get me the Heart of Snow White' quest, but that hardly felt like a character quest when she was only tangentially related to it, and the portion relating to Vivienne lasted the whole of 10 seconds. Leliana's technically should have been the counterpart to Cullen's, if you sided with the Templars instead, however it didn't really involve Leliana other than her saying "We should check this out". Something more related to her would have been nice.

3. A lot of established factions acting very out of character for reasons that are never properly established in-game. There is no flow from story element to story element, just big story set pieces that frequently arrive out of nowhere, book-ended by some of the most dreary content ever to populate an RPG.

I don't really remember this, to be honest. The Templars act out of character thanks to Red Lyrium and Envy manipulating them, the Mages give in to the Venatori because they were afraid no other help was going to come, and Alexius used time magic to manipulate it to seem that way. The Qunari try to ally with you thanks to your working with their agent and his recommendation on that front, and choose not to ally with you when you fail to uphold your end of the alliance. Town leaders betrayed their people out of desperation. Freemen of the Dales were manipulated by corrupt leaders answering to Corypheus in order to harass the forces of those he wanted to conquer. Really, I'd like some specific examples here. I don't really know what you're talking about, though knowing Bioware there was one "Correct" route that makes sense, and some others that still work, but make less. [In this case, the correct route was to help the Mages, the Templars story is kind of lack lustre, though somewhat interesting more as backstory].

BUGS/ERRATA

1. The load times are the worst I've seen since the 90's. That the game delights in spiriting you to a separate location for a 30 second scene, with full load times in-between, only compounds the issue.

The jump to another location only happened once. Otherwise it was a different place in the same location, whereby the load times were closer to 5 seconds.
Additionally, once you'd visited a location once that game session, it usually only took half or less the loading time to load it again. And trust me, there have been FAR worse loading times than Inquisitions.

2. Lots of flickering textures and assorted weirdness in cut-scenes.

Never had the issue.

3. The inexplicable "drop to 30 FPS" or lower during cut-scenes, regardless of PC power.

This was a pain in the ass. Not a bug, but intentional. Just a case of stupid console game makers being console game makers.

4. War Table had a lot of visual bugs and issues. Hilariously cluttered, quest pegs staying on the board even once the quest was completed, one quest populating itself four times and actually overlapping with other quest pegs, making them impossible to click.

Eh, kind of. It was weird, and some pegs disappeared, others didn't. I think it was that they remained, until the next quest in the chain was unlocked at which point they'd be removed. Not sure entirely on what the rules are, as some just disappeared when they finished to start with, but it could get cluttered sometimes, and needed a better visual aid to identify the uncompleted missions than a slightly different topped marker.
Never had the bugs you had though.

5. A handful of annoying crash to desktop incidences.

I think I experienced this 2-3 times in the 180ish hours I spent playing [90ish of which I was sleeping, 30ish of which I was browsing the internet, and probably another 10ish of which I was otherwise engaged. I just didn't shut down or turn off my computer as I CBF most of the time].

Some things work. The environments are absolutely gorgeous, and a ton of work went into them. The music was beautiful, the voice acting was top-notch. There are occasional stand out moments, most particularly the Orlesian Ball mission, which was so off the beaten path it actually served to highlight how lackluster most of the other content was. There were some genuinely funny moments, especially in banter, although they felt few and far between.
-snip-
DA2 was an ambitious failure undone by a lack of development time and resources. ME3 was a dramatic finale that was derailed by an eleventh hour artistic coup. DA:I feels like a game that collapsed under the weight of feature creep, its merits obscured by one's inability to play a half hour without banging into a half dozen different wrongheaded decisions, bugs, or lousy mechanics.

I'm super annoyed with it, because it could have been so much better.

Eh, I kind of see where you're coming from. It was weaker in the writing department than SOME other games [Dragon Age II was just a train wreck. No "More budget" about it. Inquisition is what they would have created had they had more budget, but limited to a small area around one city instead, with terribad combat. The same design flaws you cite for Inquisition were present in 2, but obscured by the rest of the disaster it was. Mass Effect 3 was horrid throughout. None of this "Ruined in the final moments" bullcrap. It was ruined in the first five minutes, got worse in the next hour, picked up for the next one, and had an up down up down relationship for the rest of the game whereby it achieved peaks of mediocrity, and plummeted to lows of "CoD in Space, on a budget, directed by Hideaki Anno"].

Mechanically though, it was the best game in a while. SWTOR I guess was alright, until they ruined it with Freemium mechanics. ME3 had decent shooting mechanics, but they butchered the dialogue system and ANY attempt at roleplaying in order to shove 'deep and edgy' Shepard down our throats at the last minute. Outside of the shooting, the mechanics just sucked.
Dragon Age 2 was a mechanical mess. Horrid balance and AI, passable controls, and a focus on button mashing before anything else [Which sadly largely carried over to Inquisition, just without the horribad balance so it actually plays properly as the action game it wants to be, rather than the ugly blend of tactical and action of 2]. Mages were the most overpowered thing in existence - more so than in Origins even. You lost Bethany in the first chapter, and I struggled for a lot of the rest of the chapters as I didn't like Meryl, and Anders was my healer. Get Bethany back... Cakewalk until the credits rolled. Beyond that, the maps were terribad, and its equivalent of a boss battle was "Lets send 3 waves of spammed ministuns at them". I'd prefer the HP sponges.
Mass Effect 2 was mechanically solid I guess, but as deep as a puddle. The entirety of the game was focused on Gears of War style shooting, basically no customisation of equipment. Even dialogue choices were actionified with 'interrupts'. Not necessarily a bad idea, but I feel they leaned to heavily on them. It didn't necessarily do anything it did badly, but it was what I'd call a "Choose your adventure shooter" rather than an RPG. Mass Effect 3 at least had weapon customisation and strategic choices to bring to the table - largely focused around weight I guess, but also in the way levelling up worked. Compared to 2, its cRPG mechanics were much improved, even if its Role Playing mechanics jumped ship when the intro music started.

I do agree that Inquisition is a lackluster game. Its good, but its not great. It has its moments [Morrigan appearing was... Ok, my Girlfriend watches Avatar. She fangirled out when Toph came back in the last season of Korra. As I explained to her, that was me when Morrigan appeared], though they're few, and there can be a lot of stuff between, depending on how you play. Mechanically, its RPG elements are the best they've been since Origins [Not as good as Origins, but the best they've been since then], whilst it does suffer somewhat in the controls region.
It was not, however, the worst RPG they've done to date. It outshines ME3, ME2, DA2 and definitely the Freemium SWTOR in those regards. If we'd said general game, I'd drop that back to ME3, DA2 and SWTOR, but its still the best thing they've created in a while. Bioware has been on such a low recently, that this is actually considered phenomenal work for them. I personally would consider it phenomenal in the first place, for making an Open-world RPG format actually work without being as bland, empty and boring as Skyrim's was, but it is lackluster in much of the rest of its execution.
Hopefully from here they begin to build in the right direction, and make the right improvements. Only time will tell I guess.

Casual Shinji:
You forgot the oh-so compeling character of Corypheus.

I don't know what is with Bioware making come hither eyes to Japan lately, first with Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3 looking like some Metal Gear Solid reject, and now Corypheus who looks like he got pulled straight out of a Capcom game.

Hahaha, if only that was where it had stopped. Kai Leng was by far the worst, simply due to his plotshield implementation [Seriously, if you can't make the character last 3 seconds in a firefight, making him invulnerable in cutscenes is NOT the way to show he's a badass. He needs a redesign], but Corypheus' design was... just weird and non-coherent with how the Darkspawn have looked in any iteration of DA. The worst for anime-isation though was DA2. EVERYTHING in that was anime. Weird swirling staffs for magic followed by scatter blasts of elements that home in on the enemy. Semi-cel-shaded graphics and aesthetics. Leapy leapy jumpy jumpy fly-y fly-y rogues. In Inquisition we've then got Envy ala Fullmetal Alchemist, complete with shape shifting and who I was almost expecting to tell me he was my undead brother at the height of our battle. It just feels like Bioware have watched too much anime recently, and are trying to implement it all into their Western RPG.
I mean I like anime. I love it. But trying to turn Lord of the Rings into an anime would end pretty poorly. Same for Dragon Age. You pick a tone and style, and stick with it. Not change it haphazardly every time you find something you think is cool.

I liked the game, though I agree with pretty much all of your criticisms. Wasn't a 'good' game, though I'm a bit of an oddball in what I find enjoyable. You could make a rock stacking physics game, and I'd play that shit for a hundred hours.

BloatedGuppy:

snip

I disaggree in that it's the worst game of Bioware, i found Dragon Age 2 much more offending myself, but i aggree in that it's most certainly not a "return to old glory" and i do aggree with all your individual points.
The main Issue with the story is, that while Dragon Age Origins had just as much of a generic evil bad guy as Inquisition it also had Loghain as an easily hated, but yet deep and understandable Antagonist. Loghain as an Antagonist was what made the Story of Origins great, it's no wonder that most people will say that Origins peaked at the Landsmeet and not the actual last battle.
Inquisition doesn't have any of that, it just has it's boring, predictable, inactive bad guy.

BloatedGuppy:
Shall I substantiate?

I've not actually played Inquisition and I've got little wish to[1], thus I don't have as much context, however, here are some musings. Not going "devil's advocate", just some extra thoughts on what you wrote

[1] nothing relating to the feedback after launch, I just never though "Yeah, I'd play that"

I do actually agree with a lot of what you are saying here, particularity about the lack of companion development and the obnoxious resource gathering, but none of it bothered me enough to significantly reduce my enjoyment. I do find it a bit odd that you complain about how long it takes to kill enemies while praising DA:O which had combat pacing like an apathetic sloth on painkillers, but then again I'm also a filthy heathen who finds oldschool CRPGs like BG and Planescape absolutely unplayable.

Also:

Longing:

the story sucks, the crafting's useless when you fall dick first unto better equipment every ten feet

DSK-:
drops were useless and I had to rely on crafting for better armour and weapons.

It seems crafting is either broken OP nonsense that totally invalidates drops, or a utterly useless diversion that can never keep up with drops, all depending on who you ask. Either the loot tables are borked or some people just don't get how to use the crafting system to full effect.

I'm not gonna comment on the story, because I just about reached skyhold, and stopped. But otherwise you've summed up a lot of my issues with the game mechanically, and I stopped playing before they ever fixed the cutscene lag glitch, which quite frankly was fucking unreal. It is a real shame too, because the main thing this game had going for it was the story, and putting MMO style fetch quests in the way of the story, and then making the cutscenes unwatchable, fucking ruined it for me. Eventually I'm going to give this game another go, but it is pretty far down on my list of priorities (below replaying certain titles come to think of it)

I dont think its the worst. Its got issues but I feel like its step in the right direction for bioware and its way better than dragon age 2.

I don't think it's the worst.
Am I playing a different game or is everyone else just getting leveled with different side quests just popping out of nowhere?
Because while I do have quite the handful of sidequests, I'm not getting the "tedious" feeling unless you count the requisitions thing. And fuck if that's annoying for people then I wonder how they made it past the last two games.
I've just gotten past the whole Alexius thing and the game already sunk in as Dragon Age-ish enough after a while.
I like the story mainly because I'm as bewildered as my character at everything at this point. I really do get the feeling that I'm part of this big movement resurfacing and suddenly I'm it's head.
Like how Origins was you and a bunch of random people coming together with their different backgrounds all centering to support yours for good or for ill in a strange little band of Robin Hood's merry men sort of way. All friends sure, some close friends, some close close friends but in the end all working towards one bigger goal that isn't as invested in each other as one might think in the long run. Just from a perspective, otherwise I loved everyone.
Dragon Age II is where I thought this went a bit different because it seems more like a sizeable group of friends faffing about in what seems to be Dragon Age's equivalent to Detroit, only with the law actually making progress (Hardy Harr Harr, please don't kill me).

So Inquisition's story is just fine for me.

Mechanics wise I've got no reason to complain about the sidequests since it's no different from the pointless sidequests of Dragon Age: Origins or II.
It's like if the Chantry Board actually gave me an opportunity to see plenty of sights. Or the fetch quests of Dragon Age II at least gave me the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that they were significant. Sure I could've kept all that Blue Vitriol (Seriously, am I the only that thinks that sounds like it should be a medicine?), but at least it gave me some extra power and cash for my troubles, even if money is seemingly a non-existent problem ever since Dragon Age II.
But I will still miss all that stuff about ancient swords like Yusaris, or Topsider's Honor. But oh well, can't win em all, at least it's going in the Origins direction again.

That aside, I don't expect everyone to like Inquisition.
And that's not a bad thing either since at least the divide in opinions actually brings up plenty of reason for debate.
But that's all my opinion, have a nice day everyone.

DSK-:
I can agree wholeheartedly, OP. It was a horrible experience, though for me, drops were useless and I had to rely on crafting for better armour and weapons.

I'd like to see what the game would be like if you removed the filler and power requirements and played the story pieces one after the other. It's be so weird and such a dull game :/

What were you doing that your crafted armor was worse than drops? pretty much anything made with tier 3 mats and a halfway decent schematic will blow 99% of drops in the game out of the water, and once you've killed a single optional dragon, or taken that perk at the war room table that gives you a crap ton of end game schematics (which you can get really early in the game) then you can craft armor and weapons that have higher DPS, more stats, and better effects than literally any drop or buyable piece of armor in the game. I spent the last 30% of the game wearing the same heavy armor trenchcoat just because there was literally nothing else in the game with a higher armor rating or more stats, with the masterwork system it even added guard to my health bar randomly just for hitting things, I was playing a two-handed reaver that could end fights with a full guard bar, which pretty much just led to soloing everything in the game since I didn't have to worry about my health bar while using the draining moves of my class.

major_chaos:

It seems crafting is either broken OP nonsense that totally invalidates drops, or a utterly useless diversion that can never keep up with drops, all depending on who you ask. Either the loot tables are borked or some people just don't get how to use the crafting system to full effect.

The problem with crafting is that it was poorly explained, and it starts out slow, so a lot of people probably gave up on the whole endeavor before getting to the broken aspects, which usually crops up around half-way into the game when tier 2 and 3 materials start becoming more common. If you preordered the game you also got access to the same "armor of the dragon" schematics that had higher quality versions appear in your stash throughout the story, leading to being able to get some pretty high level schematics well before the endgame. Those weren't nearly as good as the stuff you got from taking the appropriate perk at the war room table, which, got you a slew of the best weapons and armor schematics in the game, including the aforementioned armored trenchcoat that when using tier 4 mats ended up being leagues better than any drop I got in the game, and even better than the purple quality gear selling for tens of thousands of gold in the shop.

The masterwork system is also somewhat poorly explained, and the first masterwork mats are fairly useless, just giving you a chance to increase stats to a piece, the tier 2 and tier 3 masterwork items though, can be gamebreakers, giving you a random chance to cast other class abilities, which is what lead to my Reaver that could accumulate guard with every hit, or a rogue that randomly casts mage abilities that sunder their armor, leading to ridiculous damage output. There were also mats that removed class restrictions on items, which lead to things like Mages in heavy armor with ridiculous constitution bonuses.

The system was slow to get anything good out of it, I was pretty much ignoring crafting until I got to Skyhold, since everything I made was either equivalent to or worse than the purple quality gear dropping, but once I got to Skyhold and started getting access to tier 2 and 3 materials, as well as better schematics, the crafting system starts to eclipse anything that drops in the game, by about the halfway point I could craft armor equivalent to most purple items. As soon as I could make things out of the Tier 4 dragon materials, that's when the crafting system went off the rails, with a good masterwork item, you could easily create stuff far and away stronger than any drop in the game, even the legendary equipment dropped by the optional dragon bosses didn't come close to the stuff you could craft at that level.

Joccaren:
Mass Effect 3 was horrid throughout. None of this "Ruined in the final moments" bullcrap. It was ruined in the first five minutes, got worse in the next hour, picked up for the next one, and had an up down up down relationship for the rest of the game whereby it achieved peaks of mediocrity, and plummeted to lows of "CoD in Space, on a budget, directed by Hideaki Anno"].

While I have furiously contested the misguided belief that the game was "99% amazing until the ending", which I think is verifiably false, I also contest the assertion that the game was rubbish throughout. There were certainly issues, many if not all of which were overshadowed by The Issue, but I still maintain that had the ending not been the colossal shit missile that it was reception for the title would've been extremely positive. It was mechanically slick, had some outstanding missions, and great heaving dollops of fan service. Kai Leng was an atrocity, but he devoured very little "screen time", and got dispatched in satisfying fashion.

Joccaren:
Dragon Age 2 was a mechanical mess.

It wasn't GOOD, but I maintain it was a better mechanical exercise than DA:I. I remember using tactics, however muddied they became when bonus waves of enemies would winkle into existence. I used zero tactics in DA:I, because they were unnecessary, and because the "tactical" camera didn't really allow for them.

Joccaren:
Mass Effect 2 was mechanically solid I guess, but as deep as a puddle.

The entire ME series was a shooter/RPG hybrid, and (IMO) improved as they smoothed out the shooting mechanics. I actually found ME1 to be the worst of the game from a mechanical perspective, the combat was completely naff.

I wouldn't call it the worst RPG they have done but it does leave me feeling kinda meh. I want to like the game but I haven't been able to play it for more than short bursts and I still haven't progressed past Skyhold.

I've started new games to try all three character types and finally settled on liking the warrior but im finding it so hard to want to play the game because the tedium is unreal. Getting through the large open areas is such a chore than I nearly always want to play something else. I don't want to explore this large empty space that has no goddamn interesting events in it.

Playing through most of the game is like playing through boring MMO grind solo. Even the dialogue interface for talking to people is boring now, I didn't realize I would miss the cutscene style dialog but their current dialog system is incredibly boring even if im talking to companions.

Im a bit torn on the combat. On one hand I see it as a downgrade from Origins. On the other hand I somewhat enjoy it so far and like some of the new mechanics it has to make it feel more like it's own separate kind of combat.
I've been really enjoying the guard mechanic so far and the mages can be kind of fun if not just for the pretty spell effects.

raeior:
Even from an SSD the loading times are ridiculously high. I pretty much built my rig anew a month ago but it still takes far too long to load anything. Also I love how they show you those cards you can read while loading happens only to then switch to a black screen to load for another eon with nothing to do.

This game made me really glad the good games guarantee of Origin exists. I played for a day and realized that it's not really for me.

I pretty much agree with all the points Guppy made but would like to add some more:

1.) Playing a mage I found pretty much every skill to be totally boring. Statical prison was kinda creative but the rest? Yeah fire explosion this, then the exact same spell but this time it's a mine! The same for lightning...this is chain lightning...this is lightning but this time it comes from above still hitting multiple enemies! With all the other characters I met it was the same. Pretty much just skill up one respective tree blind because the skills are all the same.

2.) Weird lip syncing issues. The lip movements had pretty much nothing to do with what the characters were saying. This happened mostly right at the beginning. Combined with the facial expressions some of the characters have...The smiling of my inquisitor was horrifying at times!

3.) Why did they put gloves and pants into armour modification? Who thought that it would be a great idea? It accomplishes nothing but making the interface more tedious.

4.) The auto-attack they added in a recent patch is a joke. You can't put it on a mouse button, so you always have to use another key to enable this. Also afaik it immediately is interrupted if you move.

ecoho:
I would say I disagree but then im one of the few people who disliked balders gate. yeah I know im a heretic for saying that but the game just wasn't fun for me.(which is weird cause I routinely play both D&D and pathfinder have a blast and like DA:O go figure)

I can understand this, even though I love BG. Was this related to the combat system? Because especially the beginning of BG1 is horrible in respect to combat. Watching a warrior and a kobold fighting it out but constantly missing and the first one to hit wins because its nearly instant death at that point. Later on I found the combat annoying because it was pretty much decided by mages alone. Although if you're playing D&D you should be used to this :D

I don't really know I just didn't enjoy it. BG2 was a bit better but still just wasn't fun I think its because its so much like D&D but without the social aspect that make D&D and pathfinder so enjoyable. also the story just didn't suck me in.

I enjoyed it overall, but I can't argue with most of these points. It had a lot of problems. I felt DA2 was far worse, however.

Agreed on basically all points. I couldn't get more than 20 hours into this one.

Some additional things I hated:

- I despise this genre's continued obsession with shallow, tedious crafting systems that offer no actual play mechanics
- if the player is pressing the same button every 2-3 seconds just to ping their surroundings, you probably need to redesign something
- please give me a few dozen meaningful, impacting quests over hundreds of laughably brief and totally pointless errands
- "completionist bait" (crystal fetch) only counts as legitimate content when your target audience is five years old

Honestly, if they had completely cut 50% of the busywork from the game and redirected those resources towards enriching and fleshing out what remained, Inquisition might have been a great game. Instead, it's *astoundingly* dull. I know some people are really gung-ho about games that aren't necessarily fun, but this one crosses a line.

EternallyBored:

DSK-:
I can agree wholeheartedly, OP. It was a horrible experience, though for me, drops were useless and I had to rely on crafting for better armour and weapons.

I'd like to see what the game would be like if you removed the filler and power requirements and played the story pieces one after the other. It's be so weird and such a dull game :/

What were you doing that your crafted armor was worse than drops? pretty much anything made with tier 3 mats and a halfway decent schematic will blow 99% of drops in the game out of the water, and once you've killed a single optional dragon, or taken that perk at the war room table that gives you a crap ton of end game schematics (which you can get really early in the game) then you can craft armor and weapons that have higher DPS, more stats, and better effects than literally any drop or buyable piece of armor in the game. I spent the last 30% of the game wearing the same heavy armor trenchcoat just because there was literally nothing else in the game with a higher armor rating or more stats, with the masterwork system it even added guard to my health bar randomly just for hitting things, I was playing a two-handed reaver that could end fights with a full guard bar, which pretty much just led to soloing everything in the game since I didn't have to worry about my health bar while using the draining moves of my class.

I think you misread my post :)

I said "drops were useless and I had to rely on crafting for better armour and weapons

I also agree with what you are talking about too.

:D

Just focusing on one thing, I think that Bioware doesn't really understand what "open world" entails in terms of design. It's meant to give this feeling of a huge, living world with varied backdrops, interesting places to explore, and all kinds of hidden details. DA: I in comparison just gives you a commute between locations. It has space, but that's it; it's a bunch of stuff that is meant to fill out a map rather than giving this idea that you're in this unique, realized setting with a bunch of fun things to explore.

And that's before I get into the REAL big question: why are people so obsessed with "open world" or "sandbox" design? It just seems to me that all that's being done is making more games with zero discipline, structure, and pacing, thus leaving us to a bunch of games with nothing but tedium. An open world means nothing without structure; exploration means nothing without a destination which is why it feels so fun to go off the beaten path in Zelda, Metroid, Yakuza, and Batman: Arkham, but not so much in games like GTA or Skyrim. Same thing why sidequesting I found to be infinitely more interesting and rewarding in Persona, Etrian Odyssey, Final Fantasy, etc.

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