Plus a free rant about Facebook games
Those imaginative guys and gals at Bioware have gone even further in their often quite expansive game selling devices. They’ve released a Dragon Age game, Free-to-Play of course, on Facebook called Dragon Age Legends.
As this article will no doubt show, I’m not a fan of Facebook games in general, but was my love of Dragon Age enough to secure it a warm place in my heart.
When you first start Dragon Age legends you are asked to create your character; mage, rogue or warrior. Not to any great depth of course; it’s a Facebook game after all. Although you do have a number of choices of how you want your character to look, and have a number of points that you are able to put into your opening statistics (Strength, Dexterity, magic etc.) to diversify your character even more.
The purpose of Dragon Age Legends as with nearly every other RPG, is to advance your character and defeat the evil that just so happens to be causing strife in the land.
The Dragon Age Legends questing is divided into maps, with each map having a number of locations to visit. The maps and locations which have a fairly linear format have to be visited in order and these locations will either start an encounter, provide more storyline, give you items, or any combination of those three. It’s worth mentioning at this point, that the quests are, at least as far as I have found, all exactly the same. They involve you moving around the map and defeating encounters.
Before each fight starts you choose your party to fight with you, from a number of pre-generated companions at the bottom. These companions once generated will stay with you and level as you do. Like yourself, these companions can be mages, rogues or warriors. It doesn’t really matter which companions you take as the level of difficulty of each encounter is low, and apart from occasionally throwing around a few Health Potions you should have no difficulty.
The battles are turn-based, with fighters from both sides taking their actions depending on their speed. Ultimately, though once you get past this aspect, all you need to do is use your most powerful spells on the bigger foes, and always keep healing stuff handy.
With each encounter defeated, you’ll receive some gold, some items, and some experience points for both yourself and your companions. Once enough experience points have been granted you will level up, being able to allocate further points in your statistics, and choosing further skills based on your class. Although, your companions level up, you have no say in the skills they choose, but from my experience my companions levelled up in different ways; so I had three mages each advancing in different trees.
Aside from the combat and questing, you also have access to your Keep. You Keep is your home-base which you can visit at any time. Spending your hard fought-for gold on the various rooms and expansions for your Keep, will enable you to build rooms and extensions that will let you make your own potions, flash bombs, and healing kits amongst other things.
Dragon Age 2 Rewards
One of the better sides of Dragon Age Legends is that once you have aligned your Dragon Age 2 account to Dragon Age Legends, you will unlock various item rewards that can be used in Dragon Age 2. The items you get aren’t going to rock the world but at the start of the game they are nearly always worth using. Plus they’re unlocked for every character so unless they have a statistic requirement, everyone can use them.
It’s nice that they’re available, but in my mind they in no way impact the game or how you play it. Of course correct me if I’m wrong.
Right, as this is a Facebook game, which unfortunately is now a genre in its own right, it suffers from the same issues that most other Facebook games suffer from.
In so much that Facebook games are all built on that rather annoying idea, that if you want to get far in the game you either have to…
- annoy all of your friends with constant status updates and requests. I have some friends who play these games a lot, and whether it’s Farmville , Mafia Wars or Dragon Age Legends…. some days my news feed is almost entirely full of requests to help take down a mafia boss, or feed some chickens, or send them some pink hearts or whatever the hell they want in order to advance to level 846
- wait for minutes and sometimes hours for your energy, health, spirit to recharge so that you can continue playing.
- spend your own money to purchase additional tokens, gold,, hearts, stars etc. so that you can unlock items, or characters or sometimes just add a slightly different look to your character.
From what I can see, Dragon Age Legends doesn’t suffer too much from point 1. although there is certainly the chance for you to send updates every time you level.
It does however, suffer from points 2 and 3. Your companions, which are compulsory for the fights can have an hour or more cool-down. You have around 7 companions, and as you can usually take two with you each time you fight. After 3-4 fights lasting a minute or so, you have to wait an hour or more before you can continue. Invariably, in this time I’ve logged off and gone to play a game that lets me play for however long I want.
Gold, which as you can imagine is your main form of currency, can be handily bought in a variety of amounts to suit anyone willing to spend their own hard-earned money on a Facebook game to ensure their ‘fictional’ characters get all the ‘fictional’ mod-cons to make all their ‘fictional’ friends jealous (and probability their real friends, actually a bit embarrassed for them.) As you can probably guess It’s not something I agree with.
Anyway, I can’t argue that from a business perspective these are all good moves. Of course, the purpose of Dragon Age Legends is not to absorb every minute of every day anyway, when would you get to play Dragon Age 2? As for charging people dumb enough to spend real money on Facebook games, “A fool and his money are easily parted” I suppose.
Well, you’ve probably figured out that I have more than my fair share of animosity towards Facebook games, but I’ll do my best to sum it up in a calm collected unbiased manner.
- It’s free, all you need is a Facebook account.
- You get free items that can be used in Dragon Age 2
- It’s easy to pick up and play.
- Heavily reliant on either time, real money or friends.
- The items are not exactly breathtaking
- Better fun could be had by spending money and time on Dragon Age: Origins or Dragon Age 2
If you can deal with Facebook games, you might want to try it. If not just play Dragon Age 2 or Origins.
- Dragon Age Legends – Facebook Game Review (brighthub.com)