Soon after BioWare announced Dragon Age II, they confirmed that the combat system had been changed to accommodate action oriented gamers. While this caused some consternation among some fans of the original game, BioWare thinks it’s an important evolution of the genre.
“There’s always a danger of alienating the hardcore when you change anything they wouldn’t be the hardcore if they didn’t truly love what was already there,” said Dragon Age II lead designer Mike Laidlaw. “But we wanted to make sure that we held onto the elements that made Dragon Age: Origins strong party-based, tactical even going so far as to replace spell-combos with cross-class combos so that now, when a mage freezes someone, a mage can’t blow up that guy like you could in Origins; now a warrior or rogue has to get involved.”
“So the whole party becomes part of this concert of death, which makes the game even more tactical. But the fact that now, you charge into combat and swing, rather than shuffling awkwardly into position, to me takes care of a convention we could do without,” he continued. “There was even some initial backlash, with people asking: ‘What, have you made it an action game?’ The answer is, frankly, action games have been stealing from RPGs for the past five years leveling up, and getting a badge so that you can get a new weapon, that’s an RPG mechanic. So it’s time that we, as a genre, took a look at some of those elements that action games have done exceptionally well and asked what we can learn from them.
Source: The Guardian