Sunday, 13 June 2010

Is your Dragon Age Party similar to your average PUG in WOW

I am like a lot of people on a bit of a wind down from WOW at the moment. As I said in my previous post work is mental at the moment so I cant commit to a lot of time on line playing WOW.

Also I am a bit burnt out with the WOW experience, I am still keen on raiding the ICC hard modes but I have a lot of the gear I want for my druid and really don't have the energy to run my 80 pally through PUG raids.
I do have a level 8 lock in full heirloom gear but I am really tempted to save him for having some fun in Catacylsm when he will ideal to experience all the new content.

So to pass the time I have been playing my way in fits and starts through Dragon Age Origins. This is a typical Bioware game with a great story arc and you can play the usual selection of classes such as mage, warrior etc in a D&D type setting.
However unlike quite a few recent games by Bioware you don't just control the lead character in the party you can jump into any of the other party members and control them directly as well. While you are controlling any single character the AI controls the rest of the team and its behaviour can be modified to an extent by setting priorities for the party member. Such as if you have an archer companion you can set that person to attack from range and then switch to melee if an enemy closes with them.
Party makeup is mostly typical D&D with you having a tank, rogue, damage dealers and possibly a healer (though you can rely on health pots).

While playing through the other day I noticed how the AI behaves similar to your average PUG member. The ranged damage dealer (archer though would be a hunter in WOW) constantly over aggroed and got killed, The tank couldn't hold threat, The healer ran out of mana while trying to DPS and then stood in fire like a lemon, the melee dps decided the selected target wasn't the one he wanted to kill and ran off across the room to attack something out of range of the healer.
Of course you can pause the action and jump into control of the companion concerned allowing you to get them back on track but it is a real pain.
I actually found myself shouting at the screen something like "FFS DONT PULL AGGRO YOUR GOING TO DIE!"

To think I was actually playing this game as a break from WOW.
It also lead me to wonder that to keep party numbers high are Blizz actually having toons run by the AI? After all you could just put in a macro to spam some comments like "Go Go Go", "FFS Noob" and "lol you suck" every so often and would anyone notice the difference?