I confess to getting through Baldur's Gate II
five times, three with the Throne of Baal expansion installed. And min maxing became second nature. I looked at character classes, racial abilities, and possible development paths thinking about how powerful character might become at some point in the future. I chose outcomes for quests based upon possible reward. And the sickness of powergaming got only worse after the first play was through, mostly because of the knowledge gained about the game and because of the slightly set in stone structure experience of BioWare role playing games of old.
Dragon Age: Origins
seems to have taken quite a few steps to actually avoid players blitzing through, looking only for gameplay advantages. The new setting, complete with new development paths and new leveling up mechanism, needs to be learned and most players will be a bit clueless the first time around. The wide array of characters and the four member party will mean that most of the weaknesses of the main character can be offset by a good choice of companions. The good writing and the connection, which people get to certain quests and characters, will assure than some choices will be made without taking into account the possible repercussions. The different character origins will also help keep subsequent characters fresh.
But I already find myself, after about 30 hours of play time with Dragon Age
, thinking back to the situations I have already experienced and re-playing them in my head in order to determine which is the best choice to make. I already think whether to again roll a rogue, maybe with a different racial background, or whether to play something entirely different.
Oh, and for those who love to min max you can actually save skills points for a while until those cool powers you actually want open up in the character skill tree. I plan to do quite a bit of that on my next playthrough.