Author Topic: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)  (Read 93 times)

Jubal

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Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« on: April 01, 2021, 12:07:27 AM »
I have finished Dragon Age 2! I quite enjoyed it, I don't really see why it's supposed to be "the bad one" in the series (ofc still not having played inquisition). I might have played through differently with hindsight but it was a perfectly reasonable game overall.

I should probably take a break before starting Inquisition, but 2 seems to point to Inquisition much more than Origins pointed to 2 - the ending has a certain cliffhanger-ness to it.
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Clockwork

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 11:18:12 AM »
Yeah it's tied favourite with origin for me! You get a different game playing as a male Hawke with regards to quite a few things and there's different dialogue options and actions for rogue vs warrior vs mage as well.

Did you play the DLC? To me it has some of the absolute best moments of DA2 :D
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Jubal

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 11:47:56 AM »
I played both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin, yeah.

Legacy started too slowly for me, there were just a few more bits of wading through the Carta than the whole situation warranted. Once the plot got going it was reasonably interesting though.

Mark of the Assassin I enjoyed. I didn't hugely like Tallis as a character and it created an odd continuity glitch where I met Leliana at a party, then Leliana turned up in Kirkwall in the main plot like a week later and the game assumed we didn't know each other. Other than that though... I really liked the setup, the battles were good fun, the main plot worked well, and most miraculously they managed to construct a sneak mechanic game section that I didn't absolutely hate which is a huge rarity in games, I usually can't stand sneak mechanics.

I think my main regret from my playthrough is that I didn't adapt until well through the game to the fact that conversation now works through cutscenes much more so you can be less proactive with it, and that means e.g. it's much easier to miss out on romance options (I'd have had my Hawke romance Isabella but waited too late to make a move and then accidentally started a romance with Merrill in act 3).

But yes, I'm still thinking I would like to start Inquisition sooner rather than later, but I'm also in a permanent panic about other things I've not done lately which is staying my hand a bit. My friend Jas is doing quite a lot of streaming Inquisition lately (ElkieSelkie on Twitch) and one of these days we're planning for me to go and guest bard which might be fun. :)
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Phoenixguard09

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 11:55:52 PM »
Inquisition is pretty good. I preferred most of the Inquisition companions to those in DA2. For what it's worth, it is also a very pretty game.

Personally, I think I preferred the gameplay of DA2 to the others. Inquisition is pretty damn simple, and while DA2 certainly is more simplistic in that way than Origins was, at least it was fast paced and felt somewhat interesting. Despite (or perhaps because of) all the flashy lights in Inquisition, the combat had a tendency to feel bland for me. Obviously, others' mileage may vary.

The companions in Inquisition are generally very good.
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Jubal

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 11:58:58 PM »
Right, now playing inqusition, also created a split thread for Thedas chat.

So, my Inquisitor is called Hamilcar, a male human fighter: I'm playing him as a decent chap, and "chap" is absolutely the right term in that he's... nice but in a slightly slick upper class sort of way. In some ways I guess he's possibly the least nice of my characters so far though he's still basically a good guy and trying to work for the most humane outcomes possible: I'm running him as someone who is a bit ambivalent about the whole Herald of Andraste thing but does actually quite like the chessmaster bits of playing politics. He's a good general and a good fast talker but not necessarily a good soldier, and is someone who isn't necessarily at ease with the rather odd collection of people he's ended up pulling together around him. (By contrast to how I saw my other characters, Rusudan Hawke was much more of a firm peace-loving idealist with more actual close friends, and my Warden Carekh Brosca was someone from an especially rough upbringing who was actually really very sweet at heart).

I think I'll get Hamilcar to romance Josephine - the politically ambitious but basically good hearted thing seems to make that a good fit. I chose to ally with the Mages in act 1, I think Hamilcar is probably a bit ambivalent about full freedom for mages he sees it as a lesser evil and will generally favour freedom as a cause overall (as a Marcher he's sort of naturally rhetorically aligned that way).

I'm now into Act 2 and at the stage again where the map is totally clogged up with quests and I'm not sure what to do next... we'll see :)
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Clockwork

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2021, 11:51:04 AM »
I played both Legacy and Mark of the Assassin, yeah.

Legacy started too slowly for me, there were just a few more bits of wading through the Carta than the whole situation warranted. Once the plot got going it was reasonably interesting though.

Mark of the Assassin I enjoyed. I didn't hugely like Tallis as a character and it created an odd continuity glitch where I met Leliana at a party, then Leliana turned up in Kirkwall in the main plot like a week later and the game assumed we didn't know each other. Other than that though... I really liked the setup, the battles were good fun, the main plot worked well, and most miraculously they managed to construct a sneak mechanic game section that I didn't absolutely hate which is a huge rarity in games, I usually can't stand sneak mechanics.

I think my main regret from my playthrough is that I didn't adapt until well through the game to the fact that conversation now works through cutscenes much more so you can be less proactive with it, and that means e.g. it's much easier to miss out on romance options (I'd have had my Hawke romance Isabella but waited too late to make a move and then accidentally started a romance with Merrill in act 3).

But yes, I'm still thinking I would like to start Inquisition sooner rather than later, but I'm also in a permanent panic about other things I've not done lately which is staying my hand a bit. My friend Jas is doing quite a lot of streaming Inquisition lately (ElkieSelkie on Twitch) and one of these days we're planning for me to go and guest bard which might be fun. :)

Ah that's great, I LOVED Legacy, I felt like it had perfect dynamics with regards to combat encounters and the lore-weaving throughout was great, one thing I think they could have done though is create more tension at the start, as you say the carta bit is slow and I always sort of felt like it intended to feel creepier and more sinister than it ended up being.

Mark of the assassin was the one I could take or leave though. I get that they wanted a Felicia Day tie in but aside from that I can't really say it added much to the narrative. Hawke seemed about the same before and after s/he went to the grounds. The inside the castle bit was so good though! Sneaking like you say and also for me the puzzles aspect of DA is a really nice homage to where the games come from.

I too accidentally romanced Merrill, I think maybe she defaults to that unless you explicitly tell her no, no way, no how.

How much symbolism did you find in DA2 and did it annoy you, I know for a lot of people it was too umm, contemporary(?) I think for a swords and magic game but I'm on the fence about it.
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Jubal

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Re: Adventures in Thedas (Dragon Age Thread)
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2021, 01:45:10 PM »
Yeah, Mark of the Assassin isn't per se a huge narrative arc, it's a fun little adventure story though and I thought there were some nice touches, I liked little things like the tossing coins in the fountain game. Also getting to an environment that was mostly green rather than mostly brown was quite nice visually considering how most of DA2's areas look. It's sort of a pity I've played these games relatively late and therefore pre-spoilered on some major stuff, because
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
would have given legacy a MUCH bigger payoff if I hadn't seen it coming.

Also, I'm surprised that Accidental Merrill is more of a thing than just me. Maybe there's also something about how the queuing of romance cutscenes works in there.

As for symbolism... yeah there's quite a lot but I sort of expect that in big storyline RPGs? Anything that has a proper core plot tends to fall into that. Skyrim's backdrop is concerns over nationalism and imperialism, the first Witcher game deals with fears over genetic modification, fascism and anarchism, and DA2's concerns - authoritarian outside religio-political movements, terrorism, control over law enforcement, etc - likewise deal with a lot of contemporary anxieties among the sorts of people who write and play games. It's just a bit inevitable, I think, that a game that tries to get the players to consider moral questions will end up framing those much like the moral questions of contemporary society. So I'd say I was quite relaxed about that.

I actually get more annoyed about big aesthetic shifts in the games, I'm not a fan of the C18th formal dress codes that randomly turn up in Inquisition for example. Though that's partly me feeling that C15-16 (which is really what DA aesthetic averages out to) formal wear was fantastically silly and I'm sad they didn't include it. But there's definitely a feeling for me that Origins felt very pseudomedieval in its look, DA2 a bit more early modern, but then Inquisition feels a bit aesthetically all over the place.
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