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Dragon Age III: InquisitionFollow

#1 Jun 16 2013 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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I'm a DA nerd, and now that we have a release date and more info about the game, I figure now would be a fun time to start our relatively baseless speculation.

Quick and dirty background for people who haven't been following the series (meaning, DA2 and the novel Dragon Age: Asunder):

History
Chantry forms, but has no military arm, way, or will to deal with Mages. The Inquisition develops independently of them, and begins hunting to root out any and all Mages, executing them wherever they are found.

The Chantry eventually initiates the Nevarran Accord, which brings the Inquisiton and all Mages under its control. The Accord splits the Inquisition into two groups - the Templar Order and the Seekers of Truth - and sets up system and network of Magi that operates through the Chantry and is known as the Circle.

The Templar Order is primarily tasked with monitoring and managing the Mage situation, from Circle to Malificarum, and the Seekers of Truth act as both an intelligence organization and as a check on Templar power, as a sort of Internal Affairs unit. The Seekers are unsurprisingly rather hated by Templars.

Fast forward to the end of DA2. Conflict between Templars/Mages has been building for years, with a string of serious conflicts, initiated by both sides. The events at the end of DA2 spark are a huge catalyst for strife, and the Templar Order universally begins tightening its hold on Mages (who are almost universally pissed off about it).

A possible cure for tranquility is discovered. In the same year, Divine Justinia (in reaction to the unacceptable level of Templar aggression against Mages), supports the Orlesian Circle in an uprising against the Templars. When her involvement is discovered, the head of the Seeker order cancels the Nevarran Accord, effectively severing the authority of the Chantry over the Seekers and claiming sole responsibility for the management of Mages in Thedas.

Following this split, the Templar Order begins a march on the Circle at Andoral's Reach, igniting the Mage-Templar War.

Important to note: The Templars have heavily split allegiances between the Circle and Seekers as, unlike the Seekers, they have no central leader. That said, there is a Seeker sect that remains loyal to the Chantry (including Cassandra and Leliana).


The Inquisitor
As of right now, all we know is that there will be multiple origin options, and they will be human.

You won't play through the Origin, but your background will affect the story. I'm inclined to think this is about establishing your pre-service history, a la Mass Effect, with deeper ramifications. Gaider said it would have a noticeable impact on the plot.

I'm inclined to think you'll be choosing whether or not you come from the Circle, from the Seekers, or from the Templars. I'd also like to see other options, so it's not so obviously class-based. Like Circle/Apostate, Seeker/Bard, Templar/Knight.

What else we know
-It's open world. This isn't open-world like Skyrim, they're just introducing really big zones with a lot of exploration potential. They have NOT called it a sandbox.
-It's releasing on the PS3, PS4, 360, Xbone, and PC.
-New graphic engine (everything in the trailer is rendered in real-time, not cg).
-Besides Morrigan, Cassandra, and Varric, little is known about what characters will be returning.
-Your Warden's story is done, according to BioWare. But whether or not they'll be making some kind of appearance remains open.
-BioWare says they're taking all the features from O/2 that people liked, and building something new. So don't expect either game.
-It's apparently a HUGE world, with one area being as large as all of DA2 put together.
-There WILL be a multiplayer aspect. No word on what that will be.
-Save file transfer will be in place to provide consistency.
-While the game is primarily set in Orlais, you'll be able to travel to other nations (Tevinter cited) to encourage/quell fighting.

Release date, 2014.

My thoughts so far:
-I'm bummed you can only be a human. Andoral's Reach is so close to Kal'Shirok, who definitely has a trading relationship with the Surface. I would have loved to be one of their Dwarves.
-I also wish you could play through the Origin, but I get why you can't. That said, I'm hoping for political origin options. Noble vs. Commoner, the ability to explore the ramifications of being noble and an apostate, etc.
-Multiplayer right now is meh. Though if they did something like Dark Souls, where you could influence other games, it could be cool. I don't mean invading or chatting, but if you could influence the levels of conflict in a region, that could be cool. Like if I ignited all out-warfare in Tevinter, it could have an effect on global levels of conflict (obviously my game, alone, not posing much significance). I like the idea of the extent of warfare having an uncontrollable aspect of sentiment to it.

I fully expect to see Leliana and Alistair in this game. Almost certainly Fenris, if he survives DA2. Isabela is such a fan favorite it would be shocking if she wasn't.

I'm excited.
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#2 Jun 16 2013 at 10:26 AM Rating: Good
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I still feel burned by DA2. Don't get me wrong; there were many things I liked about it, but I'm not going to buy DA3 until I get some solid review feedback. I fully expect to buy it at some point, but probably not until I see it at a reduced price.
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#3 Jun 16 2013 at 11:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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A couple other things...

-Speculation right now is that we'll have eight different companions (link has the pictures of them). Obviously with over a year until release, that very well may change.
-The DA2 expansion, Exalted March, was cancelled and is said to be rolled into DA3. As no one knew anything about this expansion besides the working title, it's not like we're missing much.
-By now, there are certainly some things that can be declared as canon: Morrigan survives and had her child; Leliana and Flemeth survived both games; Hawke survives (but won't be the protagonist). The default Origins ending seem to have Alistair become king of Ferelden and the Warden to sacrifice him or herself; whether that's canon isn't quite clear.*

We have several non-mage/templar war plots to complete. At least the ones not directly linked to the mage/templar war. The most obvious being: what happened to Morrigan's child? What happened to the Darkspawn at the end of Awakening? What happened to Corypheus and whoever he possessed in DA2: Legacy?

Besides Leliana, Alistair, Fenris, and Isabela, I expect we'll see Bodahn and Sandal (Sandal seems like he'll have a mysterious role to play, as he effectively gave a prophecy for the trailer of DA3). Cullen will also make an appearance (and a lot of people seem to hope he becomes a love interest. Apparently they never read the potential outcome in DA:O where he takes over the circle as Knight-Commander, has a mental breakdown, and slaughters several mages. Eeeesh). We already know Varric will appear. I expect cameos or a reference to Merrill when we meet up with the Dalish, but that may be contingent upon the DA2 actions. I don't expect we'll see any repeat companions, but if I had to guess for previous NPCs who will be companions in DA3, I'd say Cassandra and Cullen. If Tallis somehow becomes a companion, I'm convinced it's because Felicia Day is providing "favors" to someone important at Bioware.

I doubt the original Warden will make an appearance, but the choices from the first game will likely have an impact. Still, it would be an amazing piece of fan service if you get into a battle where the Grey Warden, Hawke, and the Inquisitor all have each others' backs.

As for places we'll go and things we'll see, I anticipate the Black City being involved somehow (as Legacy confirmed that the Chantry's story is pretty much true). Perhaps we'll go through the Veil and invade it to directly confront an Old God. And we know a lot of the game will take place in Orlais. French accents ahoy!

What I hope for:
1. A good tie-in to previous games that doesn't just reward "good" choices. That was my issue with ME2 going to ME3; outside of a very few choices, Paragon decisions in ME2 almost always resulted to better results in ME3 than Renegade ones. It was hard to play as a Renegade because you'd constantly be screwing yourself over later on. I think DA3 will handle this better because unlike in DA:O, you had rivalry instead of just hatred. A rival will obviously not be all that friendly to you, but they often would still be loyal (as opposed to DA: Origins, where they might just leave or turn on you). I'd like to see those choices carry over into the new game, and rivals offer benefits instead of just detriments.
2. For the love of the Maker, please don't have another color-coded ending like ME3. I don't mind having one "big bad" at the end, as long as the ending is different depending on your choices. DAO and DA:A were awesome for this, as they'd address most of the individuals with whom you interacted and tell you their fate. ME3 was terrible because they just gave you a different colored cut scene.
3. For that matter, I'd like a bit more control over the result of my actions. I know that was part of DA2's flow - you might be the most important person in Kirkwall, but ultimately you'll helpless to stop the changes set in motion by others. It was an interesting story, sure - but it really sucked too. No amount of interaction, discussion, or questing will keep the viscount from getting beheaded. No matter how you interacted with Blondie, the Chantry was always going to be destroyed. No matter who you supported or what decisions you made along the way, Orsino will always turn to blood magic and Meredith will always be possessed. Even doing your best at playing amateur detective, your mother always ends up as the Corpse Bride. And did you ever notice that every single mage you help out (with the exception of Bethany) turns out to be a blood mage, or possessed, or both? Again, I know it was the way of the story - but it sucked to not have any control. And even in small cases when you did (choosing to back Anders or Sebastian at the end of Act III, for example), you were hamstrung by the fact that Anders is usually your only healer and you likely hate him at that point.
4. Coming off of that last point, I'd like more choices that come down to philosophical rather than "good versus bad." I think this has a good chance of being realized. That Sebastian/Anders one was good, although as said it was hamstrung by the situation immediately before it and the fact that Anders was practically necessary while Sebastian was sub-par as a party mate. Same thing in DA:O, when you could choose to crown Alistair, or free Loghain; and in Awakening, where you choose where to prioritize your defenses. Ultimately you still filled the same party role, so the choice was a philosophical one.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm trying not to get excited yet as it's still over a year away.

*Edit: Though thinking of this, if Morrigan has her child, there's no reason for the the Grey Warden to sacrifice him or herself. I'm confused now... harumph.

Edited, Jun 16th 2013 1:14pm by LockeColeMA
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#4 Jun 16 2013 at 1:36 PM Rating: Good
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LockeColeMA wrote:
A couple other things...

-Speculation right now is that we'll have eight different companions (link has the pictures of them). Obviously with over a year until release, that very well may change.
-The DA2 expansion, Exalted March, was cancelled and is said to be rolled into DA3. As no one knew anything about this expansion besides the working title, it's not like we're missing much.
-By now, there are certainly some things that can be declared as canon: Morrigan survives and had her child; Leliana and Flemeth survived both games; Hawke survives (but won't be the protagonist). The default Origins ending seem to have Alistair become king of Ferelden and the Warden to sacrifice him or herself; whether that's canon isn't quite clear.*


Morrigan having a child isn't canon, as sleeping with her is optional. That's the source of your confusion. Morrigan will leave the party regardless - WHEN she leaves is the question. Bioware is working with one canon that has Alistair as king, but I don't think they've every supplied any info about the Warden's fate in their canon. For one thing, any reference to the "Warden-Commander" can be taken to mean either the Fereldener or the Orlesian Warden.

They've also been really clear that, while they're working with a canon line for the purposes of EU stuff, the canon of the games is whatever you want it to be.

Doing a quick search, apparently Gaider said (in a question regardin the Warden in the comics) he wants readers to believe that the Warden is back in Denerim, sending Alistair good thoughts, during his quest in Silent Grove. It's clearly tongue-in-cheek, but I think his point is clear: the fate of the Warden is whatever you want the fate of the Warden to be - only exception is that the Warden couldn't let Alistair sacrifice himself, for obvious reasons.

Also, where the f*** is my dwarf companion? And why is there no Qunari? And only one of seems to be an elf (though that can be hard to tell). That's just wrong. Let's hope that the two cloaked companions are elves (or at least one). Also, there's that short character on the right. MAYBE that's a Dwarf? Looks like an Avvar/similar to me, though.

Quote:
We have several non-mage/templar war plots to complete. At least the ones not directly linked to the mage/templar war. The most obvious being: what happened to Morrigan's child? What happened to the Darkspawn at the end of Awakening? What happened to Corypheus and whoever he possessed in DA2: Legacy?


Hell, there are a lot more than that. I remember them mentioning a that Elves would have a renewed importance in the game, as they're getting super fed-up with their treatment, and are spurred on by watching another oppressed group at war with their authority. We also have the Kal'Shirok plot material, which should fold into the darkspawn content nicely. There's the massive elephant in the room that the Qunari represent. And don't forget that Tevinter will likely have a BIG stake in this conflict - if the Mages succeed at overthrowing the Chantry, it's the perfect time for the Tevinter chantry (and political beast) to expand.

Quote:
Besides Leliana, Alistair, Fenris, and Isabela, I expect we'll see Bodahn and Sandal (Sandal seems like he'll have a mysterious role to play, as he effectively gave a prophecy for the trailer of DA3). Cullen will also make an appearance (and a lot of people seem to hope he becomes a love interest. Apparently they never read the potential outcome in DA:O where he takes over the circle as Knight-Commander, has a mental breakdown, and slaughters several mages. Eeeesh). We already know Varric will appear. I expect cameos or a reference to Merrill when we meet up with the Dalish, but that may be contingent upon the DA2 actions. I don't expect we'll see any repeat companions, but if I had to guess for previous NPCs who will be companions in DA3, I'd say Cassandra and Cullen. If Tallis somehow becomes a companion, I'm convinced it's because Felicia Day is providing "favors" to someone important at Bioware.


Well, that ending for Cullen was pretty much ret-conned out of existence with his introduction into DA2. He appears too soon in DA2 for him to have realistically outlived Gregoire. He was also brand new in the Mage Origin - it would be shocking for him to become Knight-Commander that fast.

I doubt the original Warden will make an appearance, but the choices from the first game will likely have an impact. Still, it would be an amazing piece of fan service if you get into a battle where the Grey Warden, Hawke, and the Inquisitor all have each others' backs.

Quote:
As for places we'll go and things we'll see, I anticipate the Black City being involved somehow (as Legacy confirmed that the Chantry's story is pretty much true). Perhaps we'll go through the Veil and invade it to directly confront an Old God. And we know a lot of the game will take place in Orlais. French accents ahoy!


Actually, most of the fans seems to think that Legacy threw a big kink in that story. Because the language Corphyeus is using seems to imply that the city was always Black. It confirms that it's the source of the corruption, but it is super unclear if it's proof for the Chantry, or proof against them.

Quote:
What I hope for:
1. A good tie-in to previous games that doesn't just reward "good" choices. That was my issue with ME2 going to ME3; outside of a very few choices, Paragon decisions in ME2 almost always resulted to better results in ME3 than Renegade ones. It was hard to play as a Renegade because you'd constantly be screwing yourself over later on. I think DA3 will handle this better because unlike in DA:O, you had rivalry instead of just hatred. A rival will obviously not be all that friendly to you, but they often would still be loyal (as opposed to DA: Origins, where they might just leave or turn on you). I'd like to see those choices carry over into the new game, and rivals offer benefits instead of just detriments.
2. For the love of the Maker, please don't have another color-coded ending like ME3. I don't mind having one "big bad" at the end, as long as the ending is different depending on your choices. DAO and DA:A were awesome for this, as they'd address most of the individuals with whom you interacted and tell you their fate. ME3 was terrible because they just gave you a different colored cut scene.
3. For that matter, I'd like a bit more control over the result of my actions. I know that was part of DA2's flow - you might be the most important person in Kirkwall, but ultimately you'll helpless to stop the changes set in motion by others. It was an interesting story, sure - but it really sucked too. No amount of interaction, discussion, or questing will keep the viscount from getting beheaded. No matter how you interacted with Blondie, the Chantry was always going to be destroyed. No matter who you supported or what decisions you made along the way, Orsino will always turn to blood magic and Meredith will always be possessed. Even doing your best at playing amateur detective, your mother always ends up as the Corpse Bride. And did you ever notice that every single mage you help out (with the exception of Bethany) turns out to be a blood mage, or possessed, or both? Again, I know it was the way of the story - but it sucked to not have any control. And even in small cases when you did (choosing to back Anders or Sebastian at the end of Act III, for example), you were hamstrung by the fact that Anders is usually your only healer and you likely hate him at that point.
4. Coming off of that last point, I'd like more choices that come down to philosophical rather than "good versus bad." I think this has a good chance of being realized. That Sebastian/Anders one was good, although as said it was hamstrung by the situation immediately before it and the fact that Anders was practically necessary while Sebastian was sub-par as a party mate. Same thing in DA:O, when you could choose to crown Alistair, or free Loghain; and in Awakening, where you choose where to prioritize your defenses. Ultimately you still filled the same party role, so the choice was a philosophical one.

I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm trying not to get excited yet as it's still over a year away.

*Edit: Though thinking of this, if Morrigan has her child, there's no reason for the the Grey Warden to sacrifice him or herself. I'm confused now... harumph.

Edited, Jun 16th 2013 1:14pm by LockeColeMA


And yeah, I definitely want a lot of ambiguous choices that force you to define your own morality. But I think DA has been good about this, overall. While it's super easy to see siding with the Mages as "good," it's also true that they aren't being oppressed for no reason at all. They're controlled because they're incredibly dangerous. I come out on their side, but it's not a super simple matter.
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#5 Jun 16 2013 at 1:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
Besides Leliana, Alistair, Fenris, and Isabela, I expect we'll see Bodahn and Sandal (Sandal seems like he'll have a mysterious role to play, as he effectively gave a prophecy for the trailer of DA3). Cullen will also make an appearance (and a lot of people seem to hope he becomes a love interest. Apparently they never read the potential outcome in DA:O where he takes over the circle as Knight-Commander, has a mental breakdown, and slaughters several mages. Eeeesh). We already know Varric will appear. I expect cameos or a reference to Merrill when we meet up with the Dalish, but that may be contingent upon the DA2 actions. I don't expect we'll see any repeat companions, but if I had to guess for previous NPCs who will be companions in DA3, I'd say Cassandra and Cullen. If Tallis somehow becomes a companion, I'm convinced it's because Felicia Day is providing "favors" to someone important at Bioware.

Most importantly, I need this game to address what happened to the love-child I most certainly implanted into the fertile soil of young, sweet Gheyna with my legendary dwarven virility. And don't try telling me that selves and dwarves can't breed -- my dwarf's lust-cannon was more powerful than the laws of man, nature or magic.

Also, I'll be waiting on reviews and a price drop on this one. Burn me once, etc etc.
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#6 Jun 16 2013 at 2:08 PM Rating: Good
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Glancing around me, I have a copy of all three DA novels and The World of Thedas.

Yeah, I'm pretty much a walking example of BioWare's best case scenario with regards to DA. Smiley: lol

I'll be pre-ordering it once I see what the bonuses are at each location (if they are different, which I hope they aren't, because I hate that).

BioWare Blog wrote:
You shared just a few of the first details about the game during the conference, but for those that weren’t able to watch, could you leave us with a refresher?

[AMF]: Dragon Age: Inquisition will launch in the Fall of 2014 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. We’ve shown Varric, a Qunari (who has a name, we’re just not releasing it yet!), Cassandra, and Morrigan.

With the breach of the Fade happening in the sky, demons have poured out and created a pretty big problem for the Inquisitor, the character you will play. You’ll have to cover huge areas of Thedas to uncover what happened. As you do, the choices you make will impact the world and bring everything to an ultimate conclusion.


Aaryn Flynn (who, it turns out, is adorable - though that's not particularly relevant) following the E3 trailer debut.
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#7 Jun 16 2013 at 3:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:


Morrigan having a child isn't canon, as sleeping with her is optional. That's the source of your confusion. Morrigan will leave the party regardless - WHEN she leaves is the question. Bioware is working with one canon that has Alistair as king, but I don't think they've every supplied any info about the Warden's fate in their canon. For one thing, any reference to the "Warden-Commander" can be taken to mean either the Fereldener or the Orlesian Warden.


Hm, I guess that might my confusion then. What is the reason for Morrigan leaving if the Warden chooses to sacrifice himself? She just doesn't want to get involved in the final fight?

I'm thinking that Morrigan's child will be canon one way or another; whether it's the Warden's/Alistair's/Loghain's/someone else's child will likely be the key difference. It kinda seems like too large a plot potential to NOT include.

Quote:
Also, where the f*** is my dwarf companion? And why is there no Qunari? And only one of seems to be an elf (though that can be hard to tell). That's just wrong. Let's hope that the two cloaked companions are elves (or at least one). Also, there's that short character on the right. MAYBE that's a Dwarf? Looks like an Avvar/similar to me, though.


Yeah, that's frustrating me too. The lack of Qunari reminds me of getting to ME3 and going "What, I don't get a Krogan? DAMMIT!" I do think that shorter character is a dwarf though.

Quote:
Hell, there are a lot more than that. I remember them mentioning a that Elves would have a renewed importance in the game, as they're getting super fed-up with their treatment, and are spurred on by watching another oppressed group at war with their authority. We also have the Kal'Shirok plot material, which should fold into the darkspawn content nicely. There's the massive elephant in the room that the Qunari represent. And don't forget that Tevinter will likely have a BIG stake in this conflict - if the Mages succeed at overthrowing the Chantry, it's the perfect time for the Tevinter chantry (and political beast) to expand.


Yeah, there are a ton of different potential plots Smiley: lol I have a sneaking suspicion that Kal-Sharok is just going to be pawned off as a cheap "new kind of corruption/evil artifact/darkspawn controls the city!" plot line. I hope not, but we'll see. I honestly never even thought about the elves getting uppity, because outside the Dalish they seem to lack a backbone, and the Dalish are too few (and too disdainful of their city brethren) to launch large-scale attacks. Now, if the Dalish finally did find a way to regain immortality and welcomed the city elves back into the tribe? Then it's on. Qunari/Tevinter is a conflict that's always interested me more than Templar/Mages. Hope they don't sideline it for the next game, but if I had to guess they'll mostly be mentioned in codexes in some secondary quests during this game, to set the scene for the next.

Quote:
"Well, that ending for Cullen was pretty much ret-conned out of existence with his introduction into DA2."


True; I just meant that he has the potential to go just as nuts as Meredith, but fans still love him. His mental breakdown epilogue from DA:O is effectively gone for the reasons you stated.

Quote:
Actually, most of the fans seems to think that Legacy threw a big kink in that story. Because the language Corphyeus is using seems to imply that the city was always Black. It confirms that it's the source of the corruption, but it is super unclear if it's proof for the Chantry, or proof against them.


Pretty much what I meant - Legacy confirmed the basic tale as being true, as opposed to a fairy tale (like Anders and others believed).

Quote:
While it's super easy to see siding with the Mages as "good," it's also true that they aren't being oppressed for no reason at all. They're controlled because they're incredibly dangerous. I come out on their side, but it's not a super simple matter.


DA2 made it somewhat easier for me to see eye-to-eye with the templars, just because every single mage that you try and help turns to blood magic, murder, or possession. Outside of Bethany (or mage-Hawke), the templar fanatics end up being 100% accurate that mages are dangerous and go bad. Doesn't mean I like the templars any better (go figure, I'm not a genocidal maniac), and there's definitely the argument that the templars' abuse drove them to a lot of those actions, but still... I'm not sure if I'd like or hate an ending for DA:I where you find a way to lock away magical skill forever and choose to force all the mages to go through it. Realistically, it's the only way to get lasting peace in place of the perpetual MAD (mutually assured destruction) stand-still of the Circles.

Thought of some other things I'd like to see: Unlockable specializations again. At least a quest or puzzle for them. Seems a little cheap as a warrior that I can unlock Templar without the training or proving myself in DA2, for example. I liked that aspect of DA:Origins. I mentioned it before, but I'd also like to see characters that can fill multiple roles - DA2 only had Anders as a healer unless you took the mage class, which forced your hand for some decisions. But in DA:O, my first time through I accidentally fought and killed Wyenne but still did fine with Morrigan and the Warden as healers. I like to have that kind of option open - not that every mage needs the spirit healer specialization, but at least having the Creation tree would be nice. Finally, I'd prefer that enemies don't just pop out of nowhere like in DA:2, so we can add a variety of strategy back into the fights - like rounding up enemies with a tank (nothing worse than blowing taunt on the first wave, just to have it on cooldown for the next two that pop up from thin air), or setting traps. Man, I miss traps; underpowered in general, overpowered when set up right. Poisons and grenades were fun, but I loved traps.
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#8 Jun 16 2013 at 3:58 PM Rating: Good
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Hm, I guess that might my confusion then. What is the reason for Morrigan leaving if the Warden chooses to sacrifice himself? She just doesn't want to get involved in the final fight?

I'm thinking that Morrigan's child will be canon one way or another; whether it's the Warden's/Alistair's/Loghain's/someone else's child will likely be the key difference. It kinda seems like too large a plot potential to NOT include.


If you refuse to do the ritual, she leaves right there. The ritual was her actual purpose in coming with you, afterall. The only time I refused it, I had actually romanced Morrigan. Then she broke it off when I refused to kill Flemeth. She said something along the lines of not wanting to watch me die, even though we were no longer together.

If she's not close to you, there's probably different text there. Maybe something like "If you're going to be a fool, I won't help you."

Also, CAN you force Loghain to sleep with her? I thought he refused, due to his honor or something. I'm not sure. My only Loghain play through I was male and did it myself.

Quote:
Yeah, that's frustrating me too. The lack of Qunari reminds me of getting to ME3 and going "What, I don't get a Krogan? DAMMIT!" I do think that shorter character is a dwarf though.


At first I thought he was a Mage, and dismissed that because the World of Thedas just recently specified that no Dwarf has been seen to have any magical ability, even if they've lived far from the Lyrium-filled underground for a long time.

But now I see he's gripping a second sword or something. Makes me think he'll be a dual wield warrior, and those are long swords (and look like greatswords because of his stature.

I was REALLY hoping we'd get a female Qunari (Tal-Vashoth who refused the simple life or something). Well, there's always DLC. If it's a cast of 10 companions in the core game, I don't mind at all if they add more via DLC. As long as they're actually supplemental, that is. I'd be super pissed if it was a case of "And pay $10 to have Morrigan in your party."

Quote:
Plot stuff.


I really hope they do something cool with Kal'Sharok. A city of Dwarven Grey Wardens who have actually evolved with the taint or something. The World of Thedas just has the ominious "Scholars are only beginning to understand the dark things Kal'Shirok had to do to survive." Or something like that.

I think Qunari and Tevinter are going to be the major plot feature of the next game, once we have this war tied up, for better or worse (with a victor, everyone losing, or the war firmly continuing).

Quote:
Black City stuff


I'm wondering if the Taint isn't the embodiment of human sin, but in reality is the nature of the Maker. That, plus a discovery that Andraste was a Mage, could make things VERY interesting.

With other stuff:

Yeah, I'd like unlockable specializations. But I'm also wondering if that you'll automatically get one spec based on your Origin. At least, it SEEMS likely that "Templar" and "Bard" would be likely origin stories...

That could actually make things interesting, if one spec was chosen for you by origin, and the remaining specs were completely different. Like one Rogue might be a Bard/Assassin and another might be a Duelist/Scout, but Bard/Duelist wouldn't be possible? If they have enough additional specs, that could be great for really linking your play style to your own capabilities even within the story.

Think about the potential. The way someone from a Templar origin could shut down a Mage where another might need to acquiesce to their demands. It would be a good way to further differentiate the Origin options, beyond plot-specific stuff.

I know DA2 and DAO have touched on this with Mages before, but I can't think of any Rogue/Warrior examples. Hawke proving he's a MAge,

Oh, the last thing I want to see? A better lock-picking system. I have no issues with the game adding a significant advantage to a diverse group (and now you have 4 companions), but I don't like feeling like I need to put EVERY point in Cunning just so I can unlock everything.

What I'd like to see is that you have a point where you're guaranteed to unlock it, and every point under it gives you a chance for a success, a chance to fail, and a chance to break the lock and seal the chest. And for them to have a system in place that would make it clear if you were taking a risk or not.

[EDIT]

I still can't see eye-to-eye with the Templars, because I don't think Blood Magic is fundamentally bad. Nothing I've seen really suggests that's anything but a cultural concern. I have no doubts there's IMMENSE potential for abuse (using someone else as a battery, mind control), but letting your own blood to power an otherwise harmless spell doesn't seem worse to me than normal magic. But let's face it, there's immense potential for abuse with anything that can be used as a weapon. Same level? Maybe not. But it doesn't seem to me that a Blood Mage is any more dangerous than a regular Mage, unless you've already made them an enemy forced into combat.

And if you've, as an oppressor, made another group, the oppressed, into combative enemies, I don't think you get to turn around and cry foul that they're using the only techniques they have that can actually oppose you.

Though, to be fair, I think I'm also being influenced by Asunder's revelations regarding Templar abuse. It wasn't just that they were corralled and controlled, they were actually beaten and verbally/physically abused by Templars within the Circle.

It's unclear whether or not this is universal, of course. I'd wager it happens everywhere, but got WAY worse after the conflicts in Kirkwall started really brewing, and became particularly bad after the Chantry incident.

There's also probably a minimum level that never got reported, because of the systemic culture that the Templar Order seems to have for when dealing with Mages. If another Templar will swear you didn't hit that Mage, and if no Templar is without an alibi, nothing's ever going to happen in the order. And that's assuming it's actually cited to someone in authority.

Edited, Jun 16th 2013 6:12pm by idiggory
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
I know DA2 and DAO have touched on this with Mages before, but I can't think of any Rogue/Warrior examples. Hawke proving he's a MAge,


Mage definitely got the most love. Only thing I can think of for warrior-specific was as a Templar you can break the mind control in the brothel without help.

Another thing I thought of was a curiosity of how the dwarves and Quanari will react to the Veil opening up. After all, dwarves can't enter the Veil, and I believe the Qunari claim they don't dream like other races (but they must still be able to go there, as they have mages). I'd laugh if the dwarves just looked up at the tear, said "Nope. Sod it, you nug-humpers can deal with this sh*t yourselves" and sealed off their thaigs from the surface Smiley: laugh
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#10 Jun 16 2013 at 4:55 PM Rating: Good
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Imagine if it actually creates a vortex and people get sucked up into it, and you just see one Dwarf holding onto a pole screaming, "THEY SAID YOU COULDN'T FALL UP"

Smiley: lolSmiley: lolSmiley: lol
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#11 Jun 16 2013 at 5:52 PM Rating: Good
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Are they going to bring back Arcane Warrior? That was my favorite.
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#12 Jun 16 2013 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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Your guess is as good as ours. For what it's worth, there isn't any particularly strong lore basis for bringing them back. After all, conceptually it was about the Warden rediscovering a lost Elven art completely by chance.

If we do get one, it'll probably be more like Battle Mage was, with some powerful melee-range spell attacks, and some melee-range support/buff skills. They'd probably roll something like Combat Magic into this, to let you use melee weapons over staves, but I doubt you'll be in heavy armor.

It's a big balance headache in its own right though. I would not be surprised if they decided, once again, not to bother.

And as much as I'd like to see it return, I'm not convinced the game isn't better off without it. The value of a Warrior kind of wanes next to the Arcane Warrior. They need to be competitive in melee, to stand up as a worthwhile spec, but then they have support/utility capabilities that Warriors just can't match. In DAO or DA2, I'd happily trade half (or more) of my abilities for Heal, alone.
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#13 Jun 16 2013 at 9:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Hm, I guess that might my confusion then. What is the reason for Morrigan leaving if the Warden chooses to sacrifice himself? She just doesn't want to get involved in the final fight?

I'm thinking that Morrigan's child will be canon one way or another; whether it's the Warden's/Alistair's/Loghain's/someone else's child will likely be the key difference. It kinda seems like too large a plot potential to NOT include.


If you refuse to do the ritual, she leaves right there. The ritual was her actual purpose in coming with you, afterall. The only time I refused it, I had actually romanced Morrigan. Then she broke it off when I refused to kill Flemeth. She said something along the lines of not wanting to watch me die, even though we were no longer together.

If she's not close to you, there's probably different text there. Maybe something like "If you're going to be a fool, I won't help you."



I refused on my only play through. She seemed like she didn't really care about the reason she came anymore.(She was fully maxed in likeness) Just that you survived at the end of the fight. If you go on to play witch hunt there also a brief discussion about it there. I get the distinct impression she felt like you were abandoning or betraying her by deciding to die. Like the only person she ever truly trusted was throwing away their life needlessly.

Both times was the only time I ever truly felt like she actually cared about my character. And wasn't doing just what she was asked to do by Flemmeth.

Anyways things I like to see.

I am a Cullen fan so I am hoping to see him playable.
I like to see better responsibility placed when deciding where important items or(IF they use the same crafting system as in DA2) resources are. On my NINTH play through I finally found where the body piece of the act 2 set was. I always choose to have Aveline bitch out her own guard becuase I just loved that scene so much.and didn't realize it was costing me the set. Items shouldn't be locked out by conversation choices. Or put in quests that cannot be played if you decide things certain ways.
Wider variety of healing and tank choices from companions.
Have the different warrior weapons(mace, sword, hammer, claymore) I really like to see them have a distinct role.
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#14 Jun 17 2013 at 6:59 AM Rating: Good
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With Morrigan, there are other moments of weakness if you romance her. When you give her the Mirror, and when she gives you her ring, are both coming to mind.

I actually really like Morrigan. I didn't on my first play through, but at some point she grew on me. I think a lot of why you'd want to judge her comes down to the fact that her world has always been really, really small. And in the end, relatively safe (if not pleasing).

It's hard to realize that at first, because even though she's open about knowing little about the human world, she's willful and intelligent. It gives the impression that her opinions are based on self reflection. In reality, they're based on her trying to rectify the circumstances of her own past with the world she sees now. She responds fairly well when the Warden points out her privilege to her, and seems like she starts to really think on it.

I'm really, really curious as to what she'll be like after living amongst normal people for a while. I saw someone on Tumblr point out that her outfit in the trailer is really similar to the one Leliana describes for her in DAO (which she responds to with something along the lines of "I'd sooner let Alistair dress me"). And being a mother might have been a big change for her - having to actively invest herself in the development of another person. Even if she has a goal in mind, I don't see her as being immune to her child's smile (much like she TRIES to be harsh on the dog, but you can tell she enjoys its attention, too).

As for weapons:

Ironically, in DAO, the highest-dps Warrior weapon is easily the Dagger, because of its super fast swing speed. And yeah, I'd like to see more spec options for companions. Not being able to heal with Merrill was annoying. Fenris made an acceptable tank, but not nearly as capable as Aveline.

This time around, you have freedom in choosing their gear, though. So there's that.

I do want to see a return to when the weapon types had distinct advantages/disadvantages, though. We'll see.
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This time around, you have freedom in choosing their gear, though. So there's that.

Thank heavens for small favors. The whole "I can use this dagger but you can't" thing was stupid beyond words.
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#16 Jun 17 2013 at 7:06 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This time around, you have freedom in choosing their gear, though. So there's that.

Thank heavens for small favors. The whole "I can use this dagger but you can't" thing was stupid beyond words.


IIRC, they said that they were doing it both ways. There would be companion sets (for the signature look/people who don't want to manage the gear of 11 characters), and the option to give them items piece by piece.

I'm hoping for a middle ground, too, where I can display their "look" while still equipping them. I love them having distinct appearances, but won't want to forfeit the ability to optimize their gear.
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#17 Jun 18 2013 at 8:11 AM Rating: Decent
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
This time around, you have freedom in choosing their gear, though. So there's that.

Thank heavens for small favors. The whole "I can use this dagger but you can't" thing was stupid beyond words.


IIRC, they said that they were doing it both ways. There would be companion sets (for the signature look/people who don't want to manage the gear of 11 characters), and the option to give them items piece by piece.

I'm hoping for a middle ground, too, where I can display their "look" while still equipping them. I love them having distinct appearances, but won't want to forfeit the ability to optimize their gear.



Personally I really enjoyed the fact that companions never changed appearance besides specific story moments. They could easily just have companion only Accessory equips or just like gems or special enchantments to lay into their clothes that's essentially the same gear as the main character.

I would, however, like the differences between the main character strength and their companions to be a little bit smaller. Hawke could out perform every single character at their job by way to much. Aveline the only person with such a good personal tree that if hawke didn't have better base stat boosting and more ability unlocks then his companions she straight up beat his/her ass at tanking. Even then I think Aveline stat bonuses and stances from her exclusive tree give hawke a run for his/her money.(Since, if i recall correctly. the hawke's exclusive trees only one had any defensive traits. That was templar's magic resistance.)

So what tree system does everyone prefer? Origins or 2? Or would you prefer they went back to the drawing board again?

The only things I like from 2's skill tree system is they really trimmed the fat and the specialization trees gave much more then 1. Especially with companions who got their own exclusive trees. However a lot of times I felt like I was throwing points into some parts of a tree just simply to get at one ability. Some trees demanding a lot of points for the sake of one move or stance.(A particular tree for Rogues comes screaming to mind.) I don't mind trees having really good bonuses at the end but the one I am referring to hear(I forget it's name however I am sure people who play 2 know exactly what tree I am talking about) actually forced you to put points into stances you can't stack only can use one at a time to fully unlock one stances potential.

Speaking of that, I hope they have more then 3 specializations this time around. Specifically becuase of mage. I like how they made spirit healer and blood mage not mix. However becuase the respective stances cancel each other out thus canceling your ability to use anything from either tree while using the other's stance. It made force mage your most logical second specialization. I think that really took down the variety a notch.

I wonder if they're going to mix it up with the mage schools now that we are in a different area again. I really like that they did a "This is Kirkwall specialization" thing and maybe now that we are in a new area that will also come with new schools. Maybe new specializations for Rogue and warrior(Warrior needs it since they got nothing new in 2)

On the subject of arcane warrior. While I agree with Idiggory break down on that. If they keep the exclusivity of weapons based on class they did in 2 along with companion specific skill trees. I can see it coming back as a companion only skill tree. Give that companion maybe an exclusive weapon(like varrics) a battle staff or something like that. That uses heavy armor while still having access to the basic magic trees. I think it could work and still be balanced. Definitely not in the hands of a main character though, although if we went by 2 standards. I actually think it be really gimmicky. Since you loose all the bonuses by element clothe armor has. And you have no bonuses to your melee strikes warriors gets. You simply have the ability to spec out to take damage a lot easier. So.. huh.. Thinking about it(at least by 2s standards I know it was very broken in origins.) it wouldn't be to hard to balance.

Maybe finally get an alternative to warrior tanks out of all that. Which thinking about it I like to see more of. Duelist came close to it for Rogue. I made it work as a tank twice now once as simply a boss killer. Now I have my whole team supporting the idea. Fenris grabbing most of the fodder enemies. I grab the group leader or heavy hitter. My other rogue monitors hate. I use shadow ability to keep my 2 damage dealers out of trouble. It works very well but I basically had to build my team around it to gain that synergy. Where as one person could do it before.(However she didn't always grab every ones attention like how that method does.)

Ok I've talked to much:x
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#18 Jun 18 2013 at 8:46 AM Rating: Good
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The only way I can think of Arcane Warrior working is if they created an overlap equipment option all around.

Say, let Rogues unlock Staves and use them for martial combat techniques (and provide a skill like "Concentration" or something, that would allow them to use Magic to increase their crit %/damage or something).

Let Mages use one-handed weapons and shields with Combat Magic after choosing the Arcane Warrior Spec.

Let Warriors use Bows after they choose the... IDK... spec.

Each of these would be specializations designed to optimize the effect of passive abilities, with only the signature, base active abilties of the core class coming into play. A Warrior could use a Bow and have access to their battle shouts, making them a kiting/buffing machine (ample skills to shut down enemies if they get close, buff your allies all around, and deliver a steady stream of damage from bow-based skills). The Rogue is harder to figure out, but I imagine it would be a hybrid tank/melee (like Fenris sort of was). The Arcane Warrior would be purely a tank/support build.

That way you get deviation, and it shouldn't be too much of a balance nightmare. Warriors get to expand their repetoire away from melee AoE/tanking to include ranged damage/support. Rogues expand their single target situation to include tanking/AoE damage (staff skills). Mages would move to include pure tanking from their AoE/support/ranged stance.

But I have difficulty imagining it not being a balance nightmare unless they give equal mobility to all the classes.

[EDIT]

As for DAO vs. DA2. I almost feel like a realistic comparison is impossible. Or at the very least, what you like about one is almost always something you failed to find in the other.

I loved DAO's central plot line, I really liked the cast, I liked being able to choose my Origin, I liked having a lot of freedom to shape Ferelden's future.

In DA2, I loved the ensemble cast (loved them in DAO, but they have a much stronger presence in DA2), I liked that Hawke felt more like a real character, I like that it covers a large span of time, I like the streamlined combat (for the most part - plenty I didn't like, too).

If I had to choose only one, I'd say DAO. But it's more of a "which game did I like playing more" than a "which game do I think is better," if that makes sense. It's like if someone asked me to choose between Mass Effect 3 and WoW.

Edited, Jun 18th 2013 10:50am by idiggory
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#19 Jun 18 2013 at 10:36 AM Rating: Good
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I don't even really care about the heavy armor of Arcane Warrior, to be honest. I'd rather have it remain cloth armor, with sustains for magical armor and enchanted melee weapons.

I just want to play a sword-wielding wizard, man.
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#20 Jun 18 2013 at 11:02 AM Rating: Good
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We might see something like Battlemage/Arcane Warrior. /shrug

And for all we know, there might be MORE spec options this time around.
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#21 Aug 07 2013 at 6:28 AM Rating: Good
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New info:

You can choose your Inquisitor's race - Dwarf, Human, and Elf confirmed according to Kotaku. Apparently the Inquisition is reforming itself separately from the chantry, and you

The hole in the veil is allowing demons to pour through, so you're fighting against them, fighting against the dragons, and desperately trying to grow the power of the Inquisition to handle these threats in the increasingly unstable region.

Hey look at this (watch their screens for a tiny bit of gameplay footage):


Apparently GameInformer has a whole month of exclusive features in September, so I imagine we'll be getting more information.

[EDIT]

Apparently, GameInformer has another new update later today.

Edited, Aug 7th 2013 8:30am by idiggory
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Spoiler: Morrigan gives up her career in the Witch of the Wild industry to become a full time Vampire: the Masquerade LARPer. Or possibly a man in drag.

Screenshot


Also, she looks like she polished off a few buckets of deep fried nug nuggets during her pregnancy. I ain't judgin', I'm just sayin'.

Edited, Aug 12th 2013 7:05pm by Jophiel
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#23 Aug 12 2013 at 9:24 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Also, she looks like she polished off a few buckets of deep fried nug nuggets during her pregnancy. I ain't judgin', I'm just sayin'.
She always looked a little malnourished to me. I like her better like this.
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#24 Aug 17 2013 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
I love the look and the building she in but left kind of feeling like I am looking at a completely different game series hahaha. I can't remember anything in the first two that looked that... Colonial the word coming to mind.
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#25 Aug 20 2013 at 9:09 AM Rating: Good
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There is nothing in this video I did not love.

Granted, Dev diaries are obviously promotional at their heart. But still. If 1/10 of what they say is true, I'm happy with the direction the series is moving. As long as the character development continues to get deeper, I'm happy. DA2 did plenty poorly, but its companion characters and their development were not one of those things.
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#26 Aug 20 2013 at 9:12 AM Rating: Good
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My problems with DA2:
Too-reused areas with identical enemy spawn locations.
Main location is a city that didn't feel alive.

I mostly enjoyed the gameplay (though I do prefer DA:O's combat a bit), and the story and characters were well done. Basically, if they could patch (or if there are mods on PC I guess) DA2 so that there are more city NPCs going about their lives, and randomize enemy spawns, I'd be pretty content with it.

Oh, and I didn't really like the lack on customization on my companions' gear.

Edited, Aug 20th 2013 11:12am by Spoonless
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#27 Aug 20 2013 at 9:25 AM Rating: Good
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Spoonless wrote:
My problems with DA2:
Too-reused areas with identical enemy spawn locations.
Main location is a city that didn't feel alive.

I mostly enjoyed the gameplay (though I do prefer DA:O's combat a bit), and the story and characters were well done. Basically, if they could patch (or if there are mods on PC I guess) DA2 so that there are more city NPCs going about their lives, and randomize enemy spawns, I'd be pretty content with it.

Oh, and I didn't really like the lack on customization on my companions' gear.

Edited, Aug 20th 2013 11:12am by Spoonless


See, one of the biggest problems with DA2, that is almost never mentioned, is that BioWare never released a modding set for it like they did with DAO. My understanding is that they scrapped it after poor sales, but I'm sure it was already deprioritized with their push towards consoles. I also think they, from their language, understand that PC players were pissed and intend to keep that from happening again.

But yeah, I totally get the environment issue. I don't think I'm as sensitive to art and those aesthetics as many other people are, so it never bothered me as much. I focus far more on the writing and storytelling. Which isn't to say I never noticed or was irritated by the fact that people were always just standing around a mostly-empty city. Just that I'm positive this couldn't be as big an issue for me as other people, so it's something I have to remember when thinking about the game.

Because the thing I care about the most is the story, storytelling, writing, and characters in a game, I really enjoyed DA2. The individual story arcs, while not wonderfully connected, were interesting. The story telling within those arcs was pretty solid (though, again, the overall wasn't). But the characters made up for that for me.

Each character had a really distinct personality that was interesting. I didn't love all of them as people, but I adored them as characters. And as you get to know all of them, they're surprisingly deep. Incredibly deep, for a video game.

[EDIT]

Woo hoo, the devs are promising a cast of 9 recruitable companions, all of whom will have fully realized personalities, and react to your actions. If that means 9 characters like we had in DA2, I'm a happy man.

Also, because I think this is a switch from what I posted earlier (but can't scroll up in the edit screen, and I'm lazy), I believe they said that you WILL be able to explore the origin story for each race, not just face the way characters in the game react to you based on that race, which is what I first heard.

I'll still probably be a human, but this will make other playthroughs more fun.

Now they better have a freaking Dwarf romance option. And I'm 100% okay with it being Varric...

Edited, Aug 20th 2013 11:54am by idiggory
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#28 Aug 20 2013 at 10:24 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
But the characters made up for that for me.

I liked all the characters save Andjusticeformages. Man did his whining get on my nerves.
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#29 Aug 20 2013 at 10:41 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
But the characters made up for that for me.

I liked all the characters save Andjusticeformages. Man did his whining get on my nerves.


He often annoyed me, but I won't say I hated him.

But either way, I think he was a great character. He goes deeper than just "MAGES!!!1111!11one!1" and I've known people like that in real life (and they annoyed me just as much), and he frankly seemed far more like a real person that could actually exist than they did...

My favorite Anders moments were when you got to really dig in and see just what it meant to fuse with an avatar of Justice. Those were interesting.
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#30 Aug 20 2013 at 10:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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You know people that randomly scream out "MAGES!!!1111!11one!1"?
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#31 Aug 20 2013 at 10:48 AM Rating: Good
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Well, it was more like "OCCUPY!!1!!!1!one!!111!"

But yeah.
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#32 Aug 20 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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The trailer looks decent (though I'm less interests in monster designs than companions and their personalities), and obviously the team is excited and likely overpromising at this point. I'm worried it will still fall flat... but to be honest, I know I'll buy it anyway. The only question is if I'll buy it at release, or a year later during a sale. And right now I'm still leaning very much toward the second option Smiley: bah
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#33 Aug 20 2013 at 4:40 PM Rating: Good
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Honestly, the only things I really care about are the writing, the story, and the characters. DA2 didn't have much degredation in that area at its worst, and was vastly superior to the first one at its best.

Of course, I'd absolutely love for the gameplay (meaning combat) to be phenomenal. But unless they release something to make me doubt their commitment to their story and cast (which has always been a major talking point up to now, I'm good.

To be fair, I also own all of the novels, the first volume of the graphic novel (I've been wanting to buy them locally, to support the local comic shop, but keep forgetting to talk to them about that...) Also, the World of Thedas (which is awesome and anyone who is into lore and a DA fan should grab it). It's not like the in-game codex, which I also love, but more like a general encyclopedia. It's also only volume 1 of an unknown series. But it'll give you an introduction to all the countries and cultures of Thedas, and I love it.
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I thought the writing and characters were pretty poor in DA2. Or at least forgettable... in that I can barely remember a single thing about them in the portion of the game I played.

The Flemmeth bit was laughably stupid. "Hey, here's some kids I'll entrust my soul to and hope they don't just throw my bauble in a sock drawer or get eaten by bears along the way... in which case I sure would be mighty screwed."
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#35 Aug 20 2013 at 5:47 PM Rating: Good
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Really? Because all the characters were deeper and interesting than most of the cast in DAO. How far into the game did you play?

As for the Flemeth stuff, I think you're putting far more emphasis on the locket than it is due. Flemeth has at least a limited ability to see into the future (or at least an extraordinary ability to read characters to the point she can see how they will evolve, and at what rate). Being certain that Hawke would deliver the locket wouldn't have been much of a stretch - she's entrusted far more to people far less in her debt.

It's also clear from the dialogue in that scene that this wasn't a terribly important quest for her. More like something she decided to do on a whim when meeting Hawke. The reality is that she very likely wanted to give him passage, after meeting him, but was more interested in leveraging more out of him. Putting part of herself into the locket was just convenient. There's possibly a grain of truth that it had to do with Morrigan's plans, but it seems far more likely to me that this wasn't her real goal. I'm inclined to think it had something to do, specifically, with Hawke. But time will tell.

It's also worth remembering that Morrigan never once believed she had killed Flemeth, only temporarily removed her physical form (and she didn't even seem to believe it would take Flemeth long to regain one, and believed it would be far less by the time of Witch Hunt). So really, at most this sort of task would save Flemeth a few years of being incorporeal... which part of her probably was regardless of what your choices in DAO were, given certain allusions in DA2. It's also fully possible that the Flemeth of Ferelden wasn't the only physical body she had roaming around, given how far and wide her daughters were spread.
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#36 Aug 20 2013 at 7:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Honestly, the only things I really care about are the writing, the story, and the characters. DA2 didn't have much degredation in that area at its worst, and was vastly superior to the first one at its best.

Of course, I'd absolutely love for the gameplay (meaning combat) to be phenomenal. But unless they release something to make me doubt their commitment to their story and cast (which has always been a major talking point up to now, I'm good.


I thought that, at its best, the characters and story in DA2 were equal to the original. That's no insult; I loved the original's story and characters. But I would rather see all of the original cast (except Oghren) than all of DA2's cast (except Varric) in a sequel.

I did notice I'm not mentioning DA:A, because I feel like that's a miniaturized version of DA:O. It was good, but short.

All that said, if the story and characters are equal to DA2, it'll be a success in my mind. Good gameplay is nice, but story/characters are better for me. I felt the same way about Mass Effect; ME1 was "meh" for gameplay but great for story, and just improved over time... excluding the color-coded ending of ME3, of course. This was driven home for me over the summer, when games like The Walking Dead rocketed to the top of my favorites list and hardly had ANY gameplay. If the devs do what they did in the previous games, I'll be happy. If the gameplay is improved, I'll buy it within the first week... which is saying something, since I haven't paid more than $30 for a game in the past 5+ years (hello, Bioshock Infinite*).

*Edit: Off-topic, but speaking of which, 1999 mode is kicking my ass. But... not as much as I thought it would; I don't hoard ammo like I thought I would need to, I just change weapon types more often. I have NO idea how I'll finish some battles that I barely survived on Easy later on, but I just got Shock Jockey in this playthrough and while I die from time to time, it's only when I run in willy-nilly. I am either better than I thought, or the game isn't as hard as advertised... or I'll hit a wall and splatter later on.

Edited, Aug 20th 2013 9:40pm by LockeColeMA
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#37 Aug 20 2013 at 9:52 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Really? Because all the characters were deeper and interesting than most of the cast in DAO. How far into the game did you play?

I'm not sure how linear it is but a little bit past meeting Anders.

Quote:
As for the Flemeth stuff, I think you're putting far more emphasis on the locket than it is due. Flemeth has at least a limited ability to see into the future (or at least an extraordinary ability to read characters to the point she can see how they will evolve, and at what rate). Being certain that Hawke would deliver the locket wouldn't have been much of a stretch - she's entrusted far more to people far less in her debt.

No offense, but this sounds like fanwanking for sh*tty story-telling.

Quote:
It's also worth remembering that Morrigan never once believed she had killed Flemeth, only temporarily removed her physical form (and she didn't even seem to believe it would take Flemeth long to regain one, and believed it would be far less by the time of Witch Hunt). So really, at most this sort of task would save Flemeth a few years of being incorporeal...

But there's no way of saying whether she would get a new body if she was stuck in a trinket. So it was a stupid risk for pretty much zero reward.

LockeColeMA wrote:
I did notice I'm not mentioning DA:A, because I feel like that's a miniaturized version of DA:O. It was good, but short.

I thought DA:A was kind of meh. The DA:O characters you meet again are either changed (Oghren) or act as though they barely know you (Alister, Wynne). And your own character acts like sort of a doofus, handing out Grey Warden invites like you're trying to fill seats at an awards show. It did provide a little wry amusement that the epilogue has everyone you recruited saying "Screw this" and leaving the Wardens, perhaps making you the worst recruiter ever -- small surprise that inviting anyone who rolls down the pike leads to a poor retention rating.

Edited, Aug 20th 2013 10:58pm by Jophiel
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#38 Aug 21 2013 at 6:45 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Really? Because all the characters were deeper and interesting than most of the cast in DAO. How far into the game did you play?

I'm not sure how linear it is but a little bit past meeting Anders.


Meeting Anders generally happens really quickly, but I'm not sure it has to happen right away. If you saw the Flemeth scene, you met Merill. But there's a good chance you never met Isabela or Fenris? Possibly Sebastian, assuming you had access to him.

Quote:
Quote:
As for the Flemeth stuff, I think you're putting far more emphasis on the locket than it is due. Flemeth has at least a limited ability to see into the future (or at least an extraordinary ability to read characters to the point she can see how they will evolve, and at what rate). Being certain that Hawke would deliver the locket wouldn't have been much of a stretch - she's entrusted far more to people far less in her debt.

No offense, but this sounds like fanwanking for sh*tty story-telling.


I don't think it's amazing storytelling, I just don't think it was bad for the reasons you're attributing to it. I think it was bad because it was more a shoe-horned cameo than anything else. But it seems unlikely, given the EU, that whether or not Hawke delivered the amulet was something Flemeth would have cared that much about.

Quote:
Quote:
It's also worth remembering that Morrigan never once believed she had killed Flemeth, only temporarily removed her physical form (and she didn't even seem to believe it would take Flemeth long to regain one, and believed it would be far less by the time of Witch Hunt). So really, at most this sort of task would save Flemeth a few years of being incorporeal...

But there's no way of saying whether she would get a new body if she was stuck in a trinket. So it was a stupid risk for pretty much zero reward.


She said that she put a tiny part of herself in the locket, and that she's not restricted from being in multiple places at once.

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LockeColeMA wrote:
I did notice I'm not mentioning DA:A, because I feel like that's a miniaturized version of DA:O. It was good, but short.

I thought DA:A was kind of meh. The DA:O characters you meet again are either changed (Oghren) or act as though they barely know you (Alister, Wynne). And your own character acts like sort of a doofus, handing out Grey Warden invites like you're trying to fill seats at an awards show. It did provide a little wry amusement that the epilogue has everyone you recruited saying "Screw this" and leaving the Wardens, perhaps making you the worst recruiter ever -- small surprise that inviting anyone who rolls down the pike leads to a poor retention rating.


Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of DA:A. I enjoyed it, but it doesn't shine out as a fine gaming moment. They didn't flesh out the characters nearly as much as they should have, which is a serious shame because most of them had potential.

The campaign itself is also hard to follow from a gameplay perspective. Every decision feels like a shot in the dark, not an actual choice you need to think about. Even the Architect felt like six in one, half-dozen in another. Less so after reading The Calling (where he's the major antagonist), but still solid. And you shouldn't need to read an additional novel to care about the villain.

The absurd number of bugs obviously doesn't help

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I thought that, at its best, the characters and story in DA2 were equal to the original. That's no insult; I loved the original's story and characters. But I would rather see all of the original cast (except Oghren) than all of DA2's cast (except Varric) in a sequel.


It's more that they went deeper with the characters, and brought them further into the central plot lines, then DAO did. DAO gave you a lot of background on the characters - the ability to explore their personalities and history. DA2 focused less on the history aspect and more on the personalities. I didn't learn Meril's entire biography, but I did get to actively see her exploring her identity as a Dalish, as a City Elf, as a Keeper and Blood Mage, as an Exile. It made for a really interesting character with a lot to find.

I don't think the characters themselves were better or worse in either game, but I think DA2 did a much better job digging into them. Seeing Fenris evolve over time, seeing his reactions to the Chantry, to the Qunari, to the City Elves, to Slaves, to different varieties of Mages, and different varieties of Templars, gave me a much stronger understanding of who he is. On the other hand, I have a much stronger understanding of where Zevran comes from.

If I had to choose one or the other, I choose the personality stuff.
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#39 Aug 21 2013 at 7:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Meeting Anders generally happens really quickly, but I'm not sure it has to happen right away. If you saw the Flemeth scene, you met Merill. But there's a good chance you never met Isabela or Fenris? Possibly Sebastian, assuming you had access to him.

The principle cast by the time I quit was myself, my sister, some chick who joined the guard, some dwarf with a crossbow, Anders and... I want to say some dude but really don't remember it well enough to say for sure. That's not counting my mother and the uncle we were shacking with or the dead sibling.

As I said, it didn't make much of an impression.
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#40 Aug 21 2013 at 7:31 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Meeting Anders generally happens really quickly, but I'm not sure it has to happen right away. If you saw the Flemeth scene, you met Merill. But there's a good chance you never met Isabela or Fenris? Possibly Sebastian, assuming you had access to him.

The principle cast by the time I quit was myself, my sister, some chick who joined the guard, some dwarf with a crossbow, Anders and... I want to say some dude but really don't remember it well enough to say for sure. That's not counting my mother and the uncle we were shacking with or the dead sibling.

As I said, it didn't make much of an impression.


Aveline is the guardsman who loses her husband in the opening prologue. She's pretty interesting, but she's not super emotive. Over the course of the game she becomes Captain of the Guard, gets married, and develops her own friendships and rivalries within the main cast. You'll also see her in the depths of social awkwardness, and being a badass with a sword. So there's not much more I'd ask from her, to be honest. I love her character, and it's not one that the genre typically lets females have.

Your sister exists the main cast by the end of Act 1, and will not join your party again.

Varric is the Dwarf with a crossbow, and he's awesome. He's a main character in the comic series, and is in the DAI trailer (look for the crossbow). He's playing the game of running the line between respectable businessman, underworld thug and mastermind, and information broker. He's also sarcastic, yet caring. Easily the best Dwarf character I've ever met in any medium.

Anders was the Mage who was also in DAA. His story is that he fused with Justice (the spirit that possesses the corpse in DAA) to give his friend a permanent home, and because Justice kept telling him he had to fight against the injustices dealt Mages. But their union corrupted Justice into a spirit of Vengeance, and they're one entity now. So Anders is Anders... and Justice/Vengeance. And that disparity forms the basis for most of his character development (and part of the game's core plot).

"Some dude" could have meant Sebastian Vael (the DLC character) or Fenris, the elf with glowing lyrium tattoos all over his body.

Merrill is the elf who conducts the ritual to release Flemeth from the locket.
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Right... ok. Far more than I could have said about any of them.

Oh, and retconning Anders' DA:A death was sh*tty story-telling as well. "Oops, we didn't mean to do that. We like him... Do over!"

No, Justice did not save him at the last second -- Justice was with me when Anders caught an arrow to the throat and was a long cold corpse before Justice & the rest of us got home.
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#42 Aug 21 2013 at 8:19 AM Rating: Good
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Leliana gets retconned back to life, too.

On the one hand, the person in me who likes lore continuity hates that.

On the other hand, I accept that a certain number of these growing pains are to be expected when building a new franchise. I can look the other way as long as they make an attempt to ensure they don't happen from here on out.

Another thing I just thought of that I really like about DA2 is that there's a certain aspect to it that makes it more like fiction, and I adore it for that - the narration. DA2 is Varric's story, through and through. And Varric is definitely someone who I'd consider an unreliable narrator. And I love that.

I'm not going to pretend that I don't get why plenty of people would hate it, of course. But I found it refreshing for the genre. One of my favorite parts of the game is right at the beginning when Cassandra calls bullsh*t on Varric's story when he talks about Flemeth saving the Hawke clan. And that's supposed to set the tone for the rest of the game. This is a story, and it's you looking into events that might not be entirely accurate. Even within the story, Varric telling exaggerated stories about you is brought up. And he tells you that some day he's going to tell your story (and the rest of that comment is affected by friendship/rivalry).

A really big part of this is the final battle - the climax of Varric's story. And you can just tell that these events are highly exaggerated by Varric. Or maybe not. We'll certainly see.

I don't want this to become Dragon Age's "thing," but I liked the style for DA2. I DON'T want DAI to be told that way, though. But I like the idea of each game doing its own thing with the storytelling, which seems to be a goal of theirs.
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Leliana gets retconned back to life, too.

She never died for me in DA:O or DA:A (DA:A actually says at the end that we get back together) -- is that a DA2 thing?

Quote:
On the other hand, I accept that a certain number of these growing pains are to be expected when building a new franchise.

It's just sloppy writing. You want a mage guy in your story? Make a new mage guy.

Anyway, I was just surprised to hear the writing and characters in DA2 lauded. I could have lived with the repeating scenery, dialogue wheel and character-restricted gear if I had been enjoying the story. But I just found it ranging somewhere between poor and forgettable.
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#44 Aug 21 2013 at 9:26 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah, she's retconned to life in DA2. You'll meet her while playing the game and she's in the ending. She's also a major character in the novel Asunder.

They set her up as a Seeker of the Truth in the personal service of the Divine. But it is possible for her to die off in DAO, if you defile the Urn of Sacred Ashes.

Though David Gaider made it clear that whatever happened in the chamber with the Urn happened. So it's not a retcon in the same way the Anders part is, where it's clearly stated he was dead. Whether or not that means you killed her, and she was somehow brought back, or you "killed" her and she inched her way up to the urn and used the last of its power to heal herself, or whatever, remains to be seen. Leliana is set to be a major player in DAI, so I expect they'll address that question there.

I doubt it'll be all that interesting, but if they do something worthwhile with the character I can accept it.

As for Anders, my understanding is that the only reason he was in the game was because he and Justicer were the fan favoritse from Awakening and it was part of their way of building on those characters, because they received so little screen time. But I can't find any specific information from David Gaider about it, and I don't know any of the other writers besides Hepler for a better google search. They also made Anders a character absolutely central to the plot line (he's not optional, like some others). So it wouldn't have worked to make him conditional. Maybe the better course of action would have been to remove him from the central plot and do so.

The other thing to consider here is that so few people played Awakening when DA2 was released that I'm sure part of this was getting the most out of their assets. Business reasons aren't sexy, but I'm sure it wasn't ignored.
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
They set her up as a Seeker of the Truth in the personal service of the Divine. But it is possible for her to die off in DAO, if you defile the Urn of Sacred Ashes.

Ah, I never did so (Leliana's my main gal), so she never died for me and I was wondering what you were on about with her being "back to life" Smiley: laugh

I thought Anders was annoying in DA:A but really none of the characters made much of an impression on me. If it was the same writing team, I'm surprised they couldn't have done better.

Oh, and agreed with your plot concerns about DA:A. When I did the fight boss fight on the chain platform thingie at the end, I was thinking "Wait.. so is this it? How did we get here?" It felt like it had very little set-up to it.

Anyway, I hope DAI is a hit. I'm going to wait on it until I can hear some fan/critic feedback since I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful. I enjoyed DA:O very much and would like to re-experience that enjoyment with another game.
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#46 Aug 21 2013 at 9:57 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:

Oh, and agreed with your plot concerns about DA:A. When I did the fight boss fight on the chain platform thingie at the end, I was thinking "Wait.. so is this it? How did we get here?" It felt like it had very little set-up to it.


Yeah. I kinda ended up sitting there thinking "Wait, what's the conflict here again?"

It's sort of a shame, because they fleshed out the Architect a lot more in the book. And he could have been a far more compelling antagonist, and the choice at the end more interesting. But it ended up being a sort of blind faith jump in both directions.

In the book, the Architect kidnaps the former Warden Commander of Orlais when he leaves Orzammar on his Calling. There, he speeds the Warden's transformation into a Darkspawn-Warden hybrid, and recruits the commander into his plan to release the blight upon all of the world. Those who survive (meaning, those who have the potential to be Wardens) would be assisted by his magics to become fully realized hybrids like the Commander. The idea being that the Blights would end, as the Darkspawn had no one left to fight.

Utha (that random Dwarf with the Architect in Awakening) is one of the team that goes to rescue/kill the Warden Commander when his sister, the new commander, has a dream about his captivity. Eventually, it's pretty much just King Maric, and Grey Wardens Duncan and Fiona (who is likely Alistair's real mother, and was an Elven Mage who became the First Enchanter of the Orlesian Circle) vs. the Architect.

They manage to stop the Architect's plan, obviously, but he escapes.

But it's also true, and clearly so, that his intention WAS to end the Blights... by any means necessary. And he was searching for the location of the Old Gods to kill them, so they could never rise again.

Of course, he ended up finding one and accidentally blighted it...


Still, give me more context there, and add more context on the trust side of the equation, and that decision becomes a lot more interesting. As it was, I kinda just sat there and thought "I don't care."

It was mostly a decision between "This may or may not be immoral, but I have little reason to care in this context, because this guy massacred my people" and "This may or may not be immoral, but I have little reason to care in this context, because either his survival won't mean anything, or it'll be bad for me."

/shrug

Now, looking back at it post-Corypheus (one of the first Darkspawn, a magister who invaded the Black City, who is released from his prison in DA2), letting the Architect live or killing him now has bigger implications... that you still have no way of predicting.
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#47 Aug 28 2013 at 10:45 AM Rating: Good
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THIS IS AMAZING AND YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT IT.

Dragon Age Keep, a new cloud-based save file generator. Now, you can construct your game histories on the site, so you never have to worry about corrupted saves or bad imports. And if you want to change something, you don't need to rely on the limited save file generators. They're promising that system will let you fully customize the history, including the appearance data (cameos anyone?). And they point out that DAO had 600 data points in its save file transfer...

This is really great, and I'm very happy about it. I'm guessing, in virtue of it being cloud-based, they even intend to let you access these features across systems. No more losing your data if you want to switch to a PS4 or something.
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#48 Aug 28 2013 at 11:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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Harumph harumph... EA/Bioware gives kittens cancer with its dialogue wheels!


Nah, that's pretty cool.
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Anders. Arrow through neck. Dead. Smiley: mad

Edited, Aug 28th 2013 12:13pm by Jophiel
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#49 Aug 28 2013 at 11:16 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Anders. Arrow through neck. Dead. Smiley: mad
It's just a flesh wound. Nowhere near the knee.

Edited, Aug 28th 2013 1:16pm by lolgaxe
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#50 Aug 28 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Excellent
I'm just hoping for less awkward sex scenes.
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#51 Aug 28 2013 at 8:13 PM Rating: Good
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I'm just hoping for less awkward sex scenes.


Everyone knows sex always happens with a boob wrap on...

Unless you mod. Amirite?
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