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T O P I C    R E V I E W
doccarnby Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 03:55:56
https://www.pcgamer.com/dark-alliance-the-dandd-action-rpg-is-heading-to-icewind-dale-in-2020/

New Dark Alliance game, seemingly titled 'Dark Alliance', is due some time in 2020. Apparently set in Icewind Dale, starring Drizzt and his supporting cast. No gameplay, just a prerendered trailer so there's not too much to talk about on that front yet. The trailer... seems to have been made back in the mid-2000's? The music choice reminds me of that one Dragon Age trailer with the Marilyn Manson song. I don't want to be too down on it, it is just a prerendered trailer after all, but... man, it's a bad trailer.

Official website:
https://www.darkalliance.com/
23   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
VikingLegion Posted - 26 Aug 2021 : 01:28:21
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by HighOne
Also worth remembering: Most of the game studios coming to Wizards for a D&D license are small and inexperienced (because successful studios would usually rather use their own IP, for obvious monetary reasons).



Another factor can be D&D lore itself. As a fantasy world, "classic D&D" isn't coherent. It doesn't have a clear "what if" from which the various elements originate, and that facilitate telling stories about a certain topic. It has no clear identity other than being tropes mashed together with little to no care given to *why* they should even be there. This may be good as a kitchen sink of ideas to use for personal games, but a studio that wants to develop a story with a specific vision? They're far better off crafting their own world tailored for that particular story, because no element of D&D has been crafted to enable said story.

Story and world are built together, setting a story in an existing world forces you to only do things that the world is about. On top of that, if you want to tell a given story, and if the world isn't about anything particular, like D&D, then you're sabotaging yourself and making your story less impactful by choosing it.


Excellent point. In a roundabout way reading this has me speculating even deeper on the storyline for the D&D movie that just recently finished shooting and is going into post-production. If WoTC is trying to emulate the Disney/Marvel Universe and build a lasting franchise here (not saying they'll get anywhere close to that success, but it seems to be the model everyone is emulating), it would follow suit that the movies would become the "new story" and video game adaptations would be plotted with the movie in mind (or tangential events related to it) to capitalize on it.

I really hope this movie isn't a train wreck, there's an awful lot hinging on it to be at least decent.
Irennan Posted - 26 Jun 2021 : 02:45:13
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne
Also worth remembering: Most of the game studios coming to Wizards for a D&D license are small and inexperienced (because successful studios would usually rather use their own IP, for obvious monetary reasons).



Another factor can be D&D lore itself. As a fantasy world, "classic D&D" isn't coherent. It doesn't have a clear "what if" from which the various elements originate, and that facilitate telling stories about a certain topic. It has no clear identity other than being tropes mashed together with little to no care given to *why* they should even be there. This may be good as a kitchen sink of ideas to use for personal games, but a studio that wants to develop a story with a specific vision? They're far better off crafting their own world tailored for that particular story, because no element of D&D has been crafted to enable said story.

Story and world are built together, setting a story in an existing world forces you to only do things that the world is about. On top of that, if you want to tell a given story, and if the world isn't about anything particular, like D&D, then you're sabotaging yourself and making your story less impactful by choosing it.

As an example, if your story is about something like "everything in the world is connected, and therefore: is free will even real?", then you should build your world to facilitate that theme, even the magic system (especially the magic system). For example, mages could be able to see the links that connect the various creatures/events (sort of like relations of causality), etc... and manipulate them to make stuff happen. As a consequence of this, since everything is connected, you could also pull off an angle about mages--who can see and alter these connections--being the only ones to have free will, because common people can't see those links and are just influenced by them. Some mages might want to change this system, others to exploit it, you get the gist.
You wouldn't have this possibility in the D&D world. Speaking of this also made me wonder what kind of gameplay would come from a magic system like this (probably focused on time manipulation and stuff).

Now, talking FR specifically, while it too suffers from this, it at least has several sub-settings that lend themselves to specific kinds of stories. However, the problem remains because the subsettings mostly lend themselves to different subgenres of fantasy, which isn't the same thing as having a setting built around a specific what-if that works in tandem with the theme of a story. As I said, it's really good for people wanting to run D&D campaigns, but not so much for a professional who wants to create their own story and gameplay that fits that story. Plus, WotC considers most FR regions as off-limits, and that essentially nullifies the advantage that FR may have.

Also, D&D is full of clichés, and people have grown far more conscious of those than they used to be in the past. Especially magic: AFAIK, people are far more into hard magic systems nowadays. A system like D&D's pretends to be hard, but it's actually extremely plot-convenient, because nothing explains how spells works, and mages constantly come up with new spells. Nothing stops an author from saying "oh, X uses Y spell to resolve Z problem!" People are not going to be impressed by elves, dragons, and a lazy magic system that rises countless red flags for deus ex machinas, plot armor, and possible railroading, and the lack of the fresh coat of paint is one less weapon in a designer's arsenal. I picture smaller studios going after D&D licenses to gain visibility, but big studios don't need that, so they have really no reason to use D&D (for story-driven games, at least).

Finally, let's be real, WotC need to step up their narrative, because it's quite underwhelming.
HighOne Posted - 26 Jun 2021 : 01:34:54
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

And a company isn't going to deliberately ruin something that makes money for it. We've all bashed WotC at some time or another, but I think it's important to be realistic and realize that (apparently) bad decisions or questionable maneuvers could be a lot of things other than maliciousness.

Also worth remembering: Most of the game studios coming to Wizards for a D&D license are small and inexperienced (because successful studios would usually rather use their own IP, for obvious monetary reasons). Wizards could turn all these small, inexperienced studios down, but then we never would have had Baldur's Gate 1-2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, etc., because Bioware was about as small and inexperienced as you can get when they made BG1. In fact, the one and only game they'd made before BG1 was a mediocre Mechwarrior rip-off.

So yes, most of these small, inexperienced studios will turn out dreck, but occasionally you'll get one that strikes gold.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 21:25:53
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.

Keep in mind, Wizards is limited to working with those who come to them asking for a license. It's not like they're hand-picking studios to make games for them. Most CRPG developers would rather create their own IP than use someone else's. That way, they can monetize the IP later if it becomes popular.



And a company isn't going to deliberately ruin something that makes money for it. We've all bashed WotC at some time or another, but I think it's important to be realistic and realize that (apparently) bad decisions or questionable maneuvers could be a lot of things other than maliciousness.
keftiu Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 20:41:11
So I watched all the cutscenes from the new Dark Alliance… and neither of the new drow city-states ever came up?
keftiu Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 03:58:50
quote:
Originally posted by HighOne

quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.


I have yet to see anyone complaining about Baldur’s Gate 3.

There are a lot of negative reviews of BG3 on Steam and on the community forum. Not everyone is happy with it.

Personally, I enjoyed parts of the BG3 Early Access, but by the end of it I felt like I was in an abusive relationship. Most of the NPCs are insulting, sarcastic, and just generally rude and unlikable. It really ruined the experience for me.



If by NPCs you mean companions, that’s intentional; those in the EA are the “evil” party members, who they want more feedback on than the nice ones.
HighOne Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 02:27:18
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.

Keep in mind, Wizards is limited to working with those who come to them asking for a license. It's not like they're hand-picking studios to make games for them. Most CRPG developers would rather create their own IP than use someone else's. That way, they can monetize the IP later if it becomes popular.
HighOne Posted - 25 Jun 2021 : 02:21:04
quote:
Originally posted by keftiu

quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.


I have yet to see anyone complaining about Baldur’s Gate 3.

There are a lot of negative reviews of BG3 on Steam and on the community forum. Not everyone is happy with it.

Personally, I enjoyed parts of the BG3 Early Access, but by the end of it I felt like I was in an abusive relationship. Most of the NPCs are insulting, sarcastic, and just generally rude and unlikable. It really ruined the experience for me.
keftiu Posted - 24 Jun 2021 : 23:34:03
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.



I have yet to see anyone complaining about Baldur’s Gate 3.
Seravin Posted - 24 Jun 2021 : 22:13:04
God will we ever get a quality FR computer game again? It's been decades.
This game is getting destroyed in reviews, which doesn't help the IP at all. WotC / Hasbro is determined to ruin the brand.
TheIriaeban Posted - 24 Jun 2021 : 02:20:20
I installed it both on the PC and Xbox. Didn't like the interface on the PC so I tried it on the Xbox. Combat seemed kinda.... clunky, I guess is one way to put it. I didn't try online play. Lore-wise, it seemed to match what I remember remember about Crenshinibon. For me, it was an easy choice for an uninstall but I will freely admit that my taste in games is probably different than many of you (big fan of builder type games).
TheIriaeban Posted - 23 Jun 2021 : 01:10:50
It is part of the Xbox Game Pass so since it is free, I will give it a shot. I have it installing now.
ElfBane Posted - 22 Jun 2021 : 23:09:40
Read the reviews on Steam.
keftiu Posted - 22 Jun 2021 : 21:55:45
I believe this is now out?
VikingLegion Posted - 14 Dec 2019 : 11:13:58
quote:
Originally posted by Seravin

That trailer was god awful. Who is it meant to appeal to anyway? Hopefully its a good game regardless.



I was just saying this to a friend yesterday. The artwork looks terrible, the characters (particularly Drizzt) move so unnaturally, like both of his arms are completely independent entities and have no relation at all to his shoulders or torso. Plus I detest that angle they use, that I also see in a lot of TV shows now, where the camera is mounted on the person's chest looking up at their face as they sprint by. It's nauseating.

Maybe I'm just spoiled by Blizzard level quality cut-scenes, but this one was almost inexcusable in 2019. I did, however, love the gameplay of the original Dark Alliance, so if it looks and plays anything like that I can easily ignore a shoddy animation that isn't actual gameplay footage.
Seravin Posted - 14 Dec 2019 : 10:01:58
That trailer was god awful. Who is it meant to appeal to anyway? Hopefully its a good game regardless.
Dalor Darden Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 23:11:26
Reading that, it isn't implicit that the games will all be digital...it could mean another addition to the editions...
jamesewelch Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 23:04:24
(PDF, page 9) https://investor.hasbro.com/static-files/f1218968-2bf5-45e2-bf2b-64c55090760f

paragraph quoted:
quote:

Through both in-house development and with partners, the Wizards of the
Coast team has close to a dozen games in development for delivery over
the next 5 to 6 years. This includes Baldur’s Gate 3, a highly anticipated
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game we recently announced with our partner
Larian.




Then about WotC buying the game dev studio is everywhere on internet, here's one page https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-10-29-wizards-of-the-coast-acquires-tuque-games

Dalor Darden Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 22:51:57
quote:
Originally posted by jamesewelch

I saw a link to a Hasbro report saying that WotC's D&D division acquired that game development studio. So they have their own in-house game studio now, just for D&D. The report also said they expect "more than a dozen" games to be released over the next "5-6 years."



Can you share a link to this please?
sleyvas Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 22:46:35
god I wish I was younger and had more time free.
jamesewelch Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 18:45:14
I saw a link to a Hasbro report saying that WotC's D&D division acquired that game development studio. So they have their own in-house game studio now, just for D&D. The report also said they expect "more than a dozen" games to be released over the next "5-6 years."
jamesewelch Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 13:59:04
YouTube video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mfjdNf0SDY

The dev's twitter says its releasing for both PC and console.

Also, AJ Pickett was the D&D lore consultant.
deserk Posted - 13 Dec 2019 : 04:13:58
Yup. Terrible choice of music. But yes, too early make any certain judgment.

I hope the gameplay is somewhat like Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance. That there is some merit in using that title. And would have preferred to have had fresh, new, original characters to play, like BGDA1 & 2 did. Drizzt, Wulfgar, Catti-brie and Bruenor are technically incredibly powerful within the setting. Seems like a bad idea for players to start out with.

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