Story Discussion (Spoilers!)

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ShadyPingu

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#1  Edited By ShadyPingu  Online

Okay, so I just put a bow on Inquisition. Since there isn't yet a dedicated story discussion, I thought I'd kick one off myself. Here I go.

As I watched the end credits roll, I confess I found disappointment blooming in my chest. Now, a few hour removed, I realize that was actually ambivalence. The story wasn't godawful, but it didn't blow my pants off, either. On reflection, I am not entirely sure what I expected - I'm of the opinion (one which not everyone will share, I think) that Bioware's strength is in its character writing, and they were never that great at the "big picture" stuff.

And, to their credit, the character writing is fairly good. My rule for games is 50/50: if half of your main cast catches my interest, then it's a good main cast. By that standard, Inquisition's succeeds. My faves are Cassandra, Varric, Dorian and Leliana.

But I digress. I wanted to talk about the main plot. Since I won't be able to organize my thoughts in a sensible way, I will put them into a numbered list:

1: There aren't actually many events in the core story. It reminded me a bit of Mass Effect 2 - a fairly lightweight main quest accompanied by a raft of optional content. I also think this game is a lot like (don't kill me!) Skyrim, in that the vast majority of your playtime will be spent "making your own fun" - exploring random caves, collecting flowers, crafting stuff, hunting down landmarks. I actually didn't mind it, but it was a surprise to see Bioware, this celebrated narrative RPG developer, leaving me alone for hours at a time so I can find all those goddamned glowy stones, even encouraging me to do so. I doubt that approach will resonate with everyone, but as the story started to lose my confidence, I appreciated that the game was, seemingly, designed to allow me to forget about it.

2: The Redcliffe time travel arc was pretty lame. The whole "glimpse into a dark future where you aren't there" is already a cliche, but what bothered me more was how cavalier the writers were about deciding that time-travel is now something that people can do in Thedas. The concept of time travel is so earth-shattering to any narrative that I was stunned at how casually they employed it, and how inconsequential it is to the plot afterward. I could see this turning into a real Harry Potter Time Turner conundrum.

3: Having you seal the Breach so early in the game was a mistake. Blunt as it may be, a big fucking hole in the sky is a driving threat that any dolt can comprehend. It gives the Inquisition's task a feeling of heft and immediacy. But once you, rather too easily, resolve that problem, it's replaced by the secondary threat of Corypheus (who will hereafter be referred to as Cory) in his bid to become a god. The problem is that Cory isn't nearly as scary as a hole in the sky, because the hole is obviously dangerous, whereas the game never successfully makes the case that I should be scared of Cory. After Haven, the Inquisitor wrecks every single leg of Cory's plan without much pushback, which just makes him seem incompetent.

4: It gets repetitive when each leg of Cory's plan boils down to "enslave the minds of this militant Theodosian order". It's kind of a bummer, too, because I feel like that excuses the writers from needing to grapple with any deeper ideological goals - no one needs a reason to do anything. Even the overtly political stuff with Orlais lacked nuance. Despite its many failings, I liked that DA2 was at least mildly allegorical. There was something I could take away from it that applied to my life, in the world I live in. There was nothing in Inquisition that I could appreciate on that level, though I imagine some of the conversations about faith might resonate with other people.

I spent the last part of the game, from the Arbor Wilds to the end, kind of in a daze, not clear what the stakes were anymore. Every big plot point of this game was trumped by the scene where you find Cassandra giddily reading one of Varric's trashy novels. That scene was great!!! Morrigan implies that with the Breach dealt with, the political groups of Thedas might start gunning for your upstart Inquisition, which to me sounds potentially interesting. Fertile ground for a sequel (or at least some Shadow Broker-tier DLC). But as for the events of Inquisition itself, I can only give a half-hearted shrug.

So, that's me. What did you guys think of Inquisition's story? Feel free to sound off on what the hell the post-credits stinger means.

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Efesell

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I think with the structure of the game the early sealing of the breach is kind of necessary. Yes it is a much more obvious and dire threat but because of that I feel like the urgency to do something about it and then actually doing so works really well. Granted you can still opt to ignore this hole in the sky in favor of picking flowers or something but I like that the story is quick and decisive about dealing with that threat and using that as a jump start to showing that your little outfit is actually noteworthy.

But also it sets up In Your Heart Shall Burn which I think might be my favorite all time Bioware set piece.

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Steadying

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Definitely the worst story and characters in any recent Bioware game. Random thoughts/complaints:

- Your character pretty much becoming an all-knowing god is completely wasted.
- Corypheus is, hands down, the worst main villain in any Bioware game I've played (which is most). He was just a big goofball. Was actually expecting to kill him half-way through and for the true antagonist to show themselves. But nope! Also, he has no screen time.
- The characters who aren't Cassandra, Varric, Hawke, Morrigan and Dorian are totally forgettable.
- The male voice actors were bad and it ruined some moments for me.
- Almost every interesting and cool part of the story is just there to make a sequel out of.
- It was painfully short.

Maybe they'll improve things in an expansion if they do one, which I doubt they will.

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ShadyPingu

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#4 ShadyPingu  Online

@steadying: I would still call ME2 the worst Bioware story, given the Collectors' irrelevance to the rest of the trilogy, though it matters less because the real story of ME2 is "Shepard met cool aliens and solved their family problems." Inquisition isn't as focused on fleshing out its main cast, which is a shame because its main quest is at least as threadbare.

And yes, I agree, Cory is dumb, but at least you meet him once, though! The Collector leader was just Harbinger's mouthpiece, and he spent the whole game telepathically berating you! Cory is miles a head of that guy.

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Steadying

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@encephalon: Ha, I actually had totally forgotten about the Collector General. I guess you have a point then. :P

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Efesell

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I kinda just really like Corypheus because of his rad boss fight in DA2.

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Steadying

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@efesell: I have actually never played Legacy. Maybe I should. This game actually made me wanna replay Dragon Age II for some reason. (Yes, I liked Dragon Age II, I know, I know. :P)

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Efesell

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Man I love Dragon Age 2 no qualifiers needed with me.

His boss fight is very multistaged and positional so it's a lot of fun. Much of the same reasons why I love the High Dragons in this game.

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nightriff

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#9  Edited By nightriff

I really enjoyed the game as a whole. Biggest problems I had were the few consistent bugs like characters pausing for several minutes (especially loghain, dude sucked the air out of the room, literally after every line I got that bug). Also getting the save corruption error AS I START the final mission scarred the shit out of me, god I didn't want to lose 80 hours. But I ended up reloading the save and it all worked out.

The game for me was the first since Skyrim's release that I just wanted to spend time in the world and do shit. My schedule nowadays just doesn't afford me that kinda time so typically in open world games I end up streamlining the main story and moving on to the next quest. I did every single story beat in the entire game (or at least 99% of it) and only lost steam on the last few areas doing all the side stuff. Just something about it was fun and engaging. It turned out that during those parts I would just listen to podcasts or watch a movie and just get all that content out of the way. Nothing was difficult and the game made it very easy to just "be there" to me.

I for one thought it was a good story with a lot of great moments (so a typical BioWare game). It is not Dragon Age Origins. I repeat, it was not Dragon Age Origins. But at this point I don't think that is a bad thing. Inquisition did a fantastic job of engrossing me in lore and bring up a lot of events that happened in the previous 2 games, and that was amazing. Replaying 2 early in November reminded me that it didn't really bring in anything worth while from Origins and that bummed me out the whole time. Inquisition got it right with just the right references to events, or characters saying the right dialogue, or bringing in fan favorites. I really didn't think the would be able to pull of Morrigan in the game, but they did. They moved her personal story foreword and she had an impact on the main story. The ending was a little lackluster in that it was just a 15 minute fight (seems like it was rushed to that point, I was expecting like a 2 hour level). I also was hoping for maybe some story choices at the end, Origins had something very similar and maybe I'm remembering it wrong but I'm pretty sure you make some important decisions with/for some characters, wish Inquisition did that. As an example: I accidentally pledged my support to both Cassandra and Leliana for the Divine (in order), and Leliana was elected to be the new divine. I don't know if that really meant anything but I would've rather had neither of them, or Cassandra. Or it would've been nice to have an end of Origins decision of "what will you do next Inquisitor?" Why am I married to the Inquisition? Why can't my girlfriend Cassandra and I start rebuilding the Seekers? Or just disappear like my role model the Warden-Commander? It was stuff like that that still stick in my mind about Origins that inquisition didn't reach. The Warden-Commander felt like my character, some I created and shaped. The Inquisitor was closer than Hawke but in the end...not really.

(Side Note: Do you think we will ever see the Warden-Commander again?)

Overall I loved the game. I could sit hear a nit pick things here and there but ultimately they are meaningless. I really enjoyed my time with the game and can't wait for more DLC, expansions, sequels, prequels, whatever.

Forgotten thoughts, real quick:

  • Favorites: Cassandra, Solas, Varric, Dorian, Sera, Josephine, Morrigan (great as always)
  • Ok/Meh: Blackwall, Leliana (she isn't as good as Origins Leli), Cullen (improvement over other games)
  • Hated: Vivienne (just didn't like the vibe), Cole (didn't like the character, bad version of Justice), Iron Bull (just didn't click with me, and I wish I didn't know Freddie Prince Jr did his voice. He wasn't bad, but I just didn't see him as the character)
  • Crafting system was cool to good, biggest problem was I was a one-handed sword user and those schematics where few and far between. Felt like it was pushing my warrior towards two-handed weapons
  • I felt like there was too little of a dwarf prescience in the game. I would love to play the game again as a dwarf but it would almost seem like world breaking. Both dwarfs and Quinari were under represented to me.
  • Loved the look of the armor and everything, my warrior looked like a fucking badass and that was great.
  • I enjoyed the combat a lot, wish the tactical view wasn't completely useless to me and I didn't like how they took out the commands for companions. I suck at being able to manage a party like the game wants you to so I relied heavily in Origins and 2 on the very specific commands you can give them in regards to their powers. Would love to eventually see a mod or update that puts them back in the game.
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triplestan

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Just finished it last night, I really enjoyed the game, but I also enjoyed Dragon Age 2 a fair bit so feel free to judge all you want.

I felt it handled the Mass Effect 3 "all your friends show up everywhere you go for some reason" conundrum pretty well - hearing Iron Bull and Varric allude to Sten in party banter was great - but since I did everything a certain way in the first two the stakes felt a bit low. For example the Fade quest was a little anticlimactic for me as I had no qualms sacrificing Stroud in order to save Hawke.

On that same note, I really didn't care about the Inquisitor as much as I did the Warden or Hawke - when it came to choosing whether Morrigan or the Inquisitor would drink from the well, it was kind of a no-brainer for me, just because I really didn't give a shit about my character. It probably had something to do with how he looked and his voice, neither of which I was super happy with.

In my opinion (and I know this is heresy for people who like to role play), I can connect with a character like Hawke or Shepard much easier than the Warden or Inquisitor. Their lives and experiences inform what actions they take in certain situations, but I feel I have ownership over how they take them. This problem was slightly alleviated in Origins because I got to see how my Warden's life was before the shit hit the fan, but in Inquisition they dropped me right into the middle of it, and I essentially needed to figure out who my Inquisitor was going to be on the fly. I could buy the Warden and Hawke stepping up as they had already been through tragedy, whereas my Inquisitor just felt like a dude in the right place at the right time.

That said, I felt that all the characters were very well written - by the time the game was over I had come around on Vivienne and Sera, who I thought I'd hate in the beginning. Some of the moments fell a little flat because of awkward animations, but I'm willing to forgive some weird clipping (which there was a LOT of). It's also the first Bioware game in which I've wanted to continue playing as my first character after the credits, which says a lot.

Also, for someone like me who's invested in the Dragon Age lore pretty hard, that epilogue scene was BONKERS

All in all I really enjoyed my time with it, but it didn't blow my socks off in any meaningful way. In true Bioware fashion, the main driving plot was the weak aspect, but I've come to expect that at this point.

Though I came away from Dragon Age 2 feeling much the same way, but after some soul searching I realized that I genuinely kind of loved it, so who knows how I feel in a couple weeks.

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Steadying

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@nightriff: Funny you should say that about Loghain, because Stroud was the exact same in my playthrough. Every fucking line from his mouth locked the game up. Really annoying. I plan on giving it a second go soon, hopefully the upcoming patch fixes that.

@triplestan: I also didn't care about the Inquisitor as much as the Warden or Hawke (or Shepard). Honestly I wish Hawke was the protagonist again... The voice acting coupled with the dumb face I made for him really ruined it. He also constantly said things I did not think that choice would say. Just let us see the exact line of dialogue again, please.

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triplestan

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@steadying: I agree 100%. Everybody likes to hate on Hawke but I still believe that the male voice is up there with Jennifer Hale as Femshep when it comes to Bioware protagonist voices - he pulled off the sarcastic jerk with a heart of gold perfectly.

However I would like him to not look like a Frankenstein monster version of himself if he reappears again - apparently the three years between 2 and Inquisition were real hard on him.

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TheBluthCompany

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Yummylee

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#14  Edited By Yummylee

I too thought the story was rather disappointing. There wasn't a whole lot of gravitas to the main events and Cory was a really weak villain. Like most BioWare villains he stays out of the picture for most of it, but he never... done anything. Like, he's always being brought up, but I never feared him or wanted to really stick a sword through his face like how I felt towards Loghain, or even Meredith for that matter. And The Architect is still Dragon Age's best villain by far. I kept waiting for something to shake the story up, for another twist to come out of nowhere. Perhaps Cory's ambitions are a little more complicated than yet another ''start the world a new'' cliche. But... nah.

I mean sure, he destroys Haven and his introduction was pretty cool, but... so what? I got Skyhold and the only people who can die during the siege of Haven are characters that might as well be nameless. The ones you manage to save you can't even bloody talk to anyway, so. Overall there's just such a lack of consequence. All of the major choices carried so little weight and barely impacted anything. Regardless of whether or not you side with the mages or the templars during the one and only 'choose this or this mission' setup, it doesn't matter. The only difference from what I've heard is you'll have some slightly different NPCs hanging about Skyhold.

The Grey Wardens too. Choosing to sacrifice either Stroud or Hawke literally amounts to nothing as they both end up leaving anyway. The Wardens themselves and whether you decide to exile them or let them assist you doesn't change anything either from what I've heard. Choosing to drink the well didn't lead to anything substantial at that. I chose to drink it and, OK, I can hear some voices for a little bit. And then... nothing. Hell, that whole sequence felt really rushed and left little to my own agency. Like, when Morrigan killed that ancient elf guy, why couldn't I have attacked her instead? Why couldn't there have at least been some sort of compromise? Why did it have to be between Morrigan and my character drinking from the well? Why couldn't I have been given the option to let it be destroyed? If that meant that you wouldn't get your pet dragon thusly making the end fight more difficult, then so be it! Cullen also continuing to take or go cold turkey on Lyrium I've heard doesn't have any noticeable result, either. In fact I've heard that if he goes off Lyrium he's completely fine, despite the fact that it's supposed to drive templars mad.

Hell, there wasn't even a choice at the very end, either! I was expecting the possibility for me to be able to potentially enter The Black City or... join Cory or... something. Instead, nah, you beat the big bad woohoo!! They flirted with the possibility that you might destroy the world during the trailers with Morrigan and everything, yet there was never any opportunities for me to act like a real bastard. The dialogue wheel sometimes just feels like a formality at this point.

You compare this to the finale of Origins and it's all so dreadfully anticlimactic. All of the business with Morrigan and her potential God baby, having your character potentially sacrifice him/herself, if not Alistair/Loghain. Choosing your party and then having the rest hang back, with a short skirmish that requires you must temporarily play with Party B; being able to call upon all of the different units you've acquired! It didn't really change the battle that much, but it all still went a long way for me to actually witness my very own army I had amassed and made it seem that my entire party was involved.

Bleh, such a disappointing game overall. I mean some of the party members are certainly likeable, but none of their personal quests can't even begin to match the loyalty missions from ME2. And then there's all of my other complaints concerning the crappy side stuff and how little overall agency I have in steering things in the direction I'd want them to go and... /sigh I can remember during Vivienne's personal quest after I handed her a regular wyvern heart as opposed to a winter one, only upon learning that this potion she was concocting was to save her lover I opted for the ''I don't know what to say'' response. Upon choosing it, my character instead said out loud for all to hear ''Well.... shit''. Didn't quite match the amount of sentimentality I was going for... Like come the fuck on! It's not like it was any longer than what the actual option was, so why lie to me like that? Fucking dialogue wheel.

Also, the fact that not a single party member threatened to leave or kill me was really disappointing. Even when your choices themselves didn't have too much of an impact, they should have at least affected how your party sees you. Maybe someone didn't think I was a good Inquisitor, or that my methods were too reckless or dangerous. My Qunari lady was kind of a bitch really to most, particularly Leliana and Cassandra due to being anti-chantry, and Dorian because of her dislike of Tevinter. Yet there was never any fallout, no betrayals, no consequence to any of it. Sure, their disapproval meter may go down a little, but all it amounts to is them occasionally admitting that ''I know we don't usually see eye to eye, but let me confide my entire life story to you!'' with nothing else to show for this supposed animosity I've been trying to build up.

It all certainly looks pretty, though. I had intended to play through it again to better tinker with all of the choices for myself (I have another mid-playthrough going on after finishing up the Wardens quest line, but I feel I'd rather just start anew) but the idea of then having to pick more plants, set more landmarks, collect more shards... Nah. I definitely need to space myself from this game for a while before I head back in I think, which was the complete opposite reaction to Origins.

Oh, and I guess Flemeth now inhabits Solas. OK then.

/ramble

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Steadying

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@yummylee: I can confirm that telling Cullen to stay off lyrium changes pretty much nothing as far as I can tell. Definitely nothing huge.

But hey, that, and most of our other decisions will probably have an impact or be brought up in the next Dragon Age game, right? Bleh. Stupid.

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HotPie

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Definitely the worst story and characters in any recent Bioware game. Random thoughts/complaints:

- Your character pretty much becoming an all-knowing god is completely wasted.

- Corypheus is, hands down, the worst main villain in any Bioware game I've played (which is most). He was just a big goofball. Was actually expecting to kill him half-way through and for the true antagonist to show themselves. But nope! Also, he has no screen time.

- The characters who aren't Cassandra, Varric, Hawke, Morrigan and Dorian are totally forgettable.

- The male voice actors were bad and it ruined some moments for me.

- Almost every interesting and cool part of the story is just there to make a sequel out of.

- It was painfully short.

Maybe they'll improve things in an expansion if they do one, which I doubt they will.

you encapsulated my feelings as well. It was painfully short if you dont decide to do "kill 10 hogs in the forest" or "put this ring on my dead husbands grave" quests... then the game balloons to 50 hours. I say scrap all of the painfully boring quests and give me another node or two in the main storyline

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Legion_

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#17  Edited By Legion_

Yeah I'll probably be shot for this, but Dragon Age II is by far the best game in that series. It has the best combat and the best story, with some real interesting racial tension going for it, which is totally relevant today. I'm not quite sure how I feel about Anders being Osama bin Laden though. I guess I kinda like the notion of a terrorist/freedom fighter in that setting.

And most importantly, I like that the end of the world isn't at stake in that game. It's a personal story, and it's not about saving the world. It's about Hawke and his family and friends. I especially like the Cain and Abel allegory you get if you have Carver join the Templars. Great stuff right there.

You know what, I think I'll go ahead and play Dragon Age II for the tenth time or so. Probably one of the best RPG's to be released in the last ten years.

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ShadyPingu

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#18  Edited By ShadyPingu  Online

@yummylee: You know, I sympathize with your comments about the choices not really doing anything. But I feel we should have all given up that dream a long time ago. I know we all let our imaginations run wild at the end of Mass Effect 1, but I feel like our expectations should have come back to earth by now. Games simply cannot be as reactive as we want them to be at this level of game development. The dream is dead.

I have a running theory that big RPGs only have the latitude of resources to support one big story branch. I mean a branch with loads of unique VO and level geometry, like the second act in The Witcher 2. DA Inquisition's big "branch" is the Therinfal Redoubt/Redcliffe Castle choice. Not quite Witcher caliber, I'll admit, but about what I've been taught to expect.

At this point, all I really demand from games like Inquisition is choices that affect me in the moment. Like the Redcliffe choice in Origins, I thought that one was great despite it not being integral to the larger story's resolution. One could argue that some of Inquisition's choices don't meet that standard either, but that's a different discussion.

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Deathstriker

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#19  Edited By Deathstriker

I thought the story and characters were fine, not great, but not bad either. It beats Skyrim, which had no characters and if it had a story (other than you're special) I've forgotten it. The combat, world, and certain characters are what kept me hooked. It does somethings really well like the crafting system, which a lot of RPGs handle in a convoluted way. My only big problems were:

- The companion quests and their cutscenes are pretty short. Some characters get way more screen time than others. It seemed like Cassandra and Varric had 3 or 4 quests or cutscene moments, while someone like Viv only had one (the stuff about her husband). Everyone having an hour+ of content would've been nice. At least everyone who's playable on the team.

- The leader of every group going bad and siding with the villain got old fast. I'm not sure why Bioware would do the exact same thing with a senior member of the mages/wardens/templars and think that's a good idea.

- The endgame content kinda sucks. After beating the main quest people just stop talking to you. Josephine, my love interest, just says "well met" as a greeting and that's it. No dialogue wheel or anything else. Everything should keep going. Just because the main bad guys' leader dies November 25th that doesn't mean his entire army is going to stop fighting the same day, or even same week or month. Endgame missions about cleaning up messes would've nice. It not having new game plus is crazy to me. I should be able to go from normal to hard or nightmare with my level 20 something character; every Mass Effect game had that. The idea of collecting all those metals, skins, and herbs again sounds horrible. Not to mention, I might want to get my character all the way to 30 and tryout the high level equipment on the hardest difficulty. More options are always good, especially when the more popular series that studio makes has that feature.

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tuxfool

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#20  Edited By tuxfool

@yummylee: After seeing how choices from ME1 to ME3 propagated and how inconsequential to the story they were, as @encephalon says, I also don't think anybody should expect them to not massively rubber band the world state and character events. By all accounts they intend to keep the series running for as long as possible without the clear distinction of a 3 game arc like ME. If you provide too much choice then it becomes that much harder to rein in the world state in future games, such that you're exponentially complicating the beginning of each subsequent game.

So at best you're only going to get small localised choices, which are easy to integrate into future games in an isolated fashion. The huge world changing choices are going to be ambivalent and easy to steer to whatever direction they want for future games. You can see examples of them getting the choices wrong (in terms of their design goals) such as Leliana dying in DA:O and then they had to crappily resurrect her for future games. That example is also probably an indication that they didn't intend to continue world states so they didn't plan for it hence it gave them latitude for more meaningful choices.

So in the end it is a tossup; do you want some difference in world state between games where the more meaningful difference is in little cameos by characters or differences in personal character arcs. Or is what you want big cataclysmic events that have huge impact and offer meaningful choice at the world level, but then have each game be independent possibly by separating the games by thousands of years, whereupon the previous choices end up as codex entries of the distant past.

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Sterling

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#21  Edited By Sterling

So at the end there after the credits. Did flemeth enter Solas and combine the four of them, or did Solas consume her into himself? I'm not sure what happened there. I have a feeling in DA4 Solas will be the main villain. That whole thing seemed really dumb to me. It could have been much more exciting probably if I liked Solas as a character. I never used him or talked to him because I couldn't stand him. I really did Flemeth and Morigan. But throwing this Eleven godass and god into the mix is rather dull to me.

I also think I goofed something up and forgot to follow up on something, or picked a wrong dialog choice and didn't notice. Or maybe it was from one of the many conversation lock ups that had to be skipped. But I didn't choose either one to become the new revered mother. And at the end of the game it said it was Liliana and the halls ran with blood, lol.

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Yummylee

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@yummylee: You know, I sympathize with your comments about the choices not really doing anything. But I feel we should have all given up that dream a long time ago. I know we all let our imaginations run wild at the end of Mass Effect 1, but I feel like our expectations should have come back to earth by now. Games simply cannot be as reactive as we want them to be at this level of game development. The dream is dead.

I have a running theory that big RPGs only have the latitude of resources to support one big story branch. I mean a branch with loads of unique VO and level geometry, like the second act in The Witcher 2. DA Inquisition's big "branch" is the Therinfal Redoubt/Redcliffe Castle choice. Not quite Witcher caliber, I'll admit, but about what I've been taught to expect.

At this point, all I really demand from games like Inquisition is choices that affect me in the moment. Like the Redcliffe choice in Origins, I thought that one was great despite it not being integral to the larger story's resolution. One could argue that some of Inquisition's choices don't meet that standard either, but that's a different discussion.

All I would have wanted is a nicer looking Origins. That game still isn't even that old and it sold really well too I'm to believe. I wanted to have the same degree of roleplaying potential, to actually know what in the Hell is going to come out of my character's mouth at all times. To be able to make decisions and then suffer the consequences, of which there are none in Inquisition. The dialogue wheel again seems more like a formality than a tool to help you roleplay your character and make decisions. More often than not it simply exists as a clean method of asking characters to dump exposition all over you. And that's still disregarding all of my other problems I had mentioned in my blog such as the boring side stuff and lack of party AI customisation.

@tuxfool said:

So in the end it is a tossup; do you want some difference in world state between games where the more meaningful difference is in little cameos by characters or differences in personal character arcs. Or is what you want big cataclysmic events that have huge impact and offer meaningful choice at the world level, but then have each game be independent possibly by separating the games by thousands of years, whereupon the previous choices end up as codex entries of the distant past.

The latter, easily. I never wanted Dragon Age to become Mass Effect, and I would gladly sacrifice this whole World State importing business if it meant I could get a stand-alone game that existed for its own sake and not to lead into sequels. At this point Origins is starting to look like it's from a completely different franchise.

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@yummylee: You would then probably be best served by Pillars of Eternity or Torment:Tides of Numenera. These are classical crpgs will probably offer very meaningful choices especially Torment (if it follows Planescape).

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#24  Edited By FLStyle
Loading Video...

Confirmation that:

The ending takes place in the Eluvian Crossroads, but maybe because Flemeth/Mythal and Solas/Fen'Harel are attuned to the area it's colourful instead of how it looks when Morrigan and Inquisitor are in it.

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@tuxfool said:

@yummylee: You would then probably be best served by Pillars of Eternity or Torment:Tides of Numenera. These are classical crpgs will probably offer very meaningful choices especially Torment (if it follows Planescape).

Divinity: Original Sin sounds like it would be up my alley, too. Unfortunately my computer's sheer rubbish for games and my desk isn't the most comfortable for simultaneously using a mouse & keyboard. Origins was my gateway into those sorts of games, only instead of building off of its foundation the series has only been shedding away most of its depth in favour of more spectacle and trying to essentially become Fantasy Mass Effect.

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@sterling said:

So at the end there after the credits. Did flemeth enter Solas and combine the four of them, or did Solas consume her into himself? I'm not sure what happened there. I have a feeling in DA4 Solas will be the main villain. That whole thing seemed really dumb to me. It could have been much more exciting probably if I liked Solas as a character. I never used him or talked to him because I couldn't stand him. I really did Flemeth and Morigan. But throwing this Eleven godass and god into the mix is rather dull to me.

I also think I goofed something up and forgot to follow up on something, or picked a wrong dialog choice and didn't notice. Or maybe it was from one of the many conversation lock ups that had to be skipped. But I didn't choose either one to become the new revered mother. And at the end of the game it said it was Liliana and the halls ran with blood, lol.

solas is actually the god child from mass effect 3

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#27  Edited By Veektarius

They really sacrificed the buildup to major events. Each story mission was an entirely encapsulated story beat from beginning to end and the only one that felt even remotely proportionate in length to its significance was the Orlesian Court. When your big confrontation with Corypheus' army takes all of 15 minutes from start to finish, I think it's unavoidable that it's going to feel trivial. Mass Effect 2's story was very small, so even though it did not dedicate a lot of missions to it, those it did have felt sufficient to tell the whole story. DA:I's story was very big, so dedicating the same amount of time to it really wasn't sufficient.

I agree with the comparison to Skyrim, except they didn't reach the level of necessary depth of the side content to accomplish that. The dungeons were way too short for any of them to feel engrossing. I imagine that this design choice was a necessary extension of the replenishable potion system, which I'm not a big fan of, when it means going through a loading screen if you run out too early.

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@yummylee: There you have it. DA:I is a console game, DA:O was a PC game ported to consoles. Beyond the control scheme such differences bring across very different sensibilities.

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@tuxfool said:

@yummylee: There you have it. DA:I is a console game, DA:O was a PC game ported to consoles. Beyond the control scheme such differences bring across very different sensibilities.

I think you're being awfully reductive there. Inquisition is a more mass-appeal friendly game than Origins, but that has nothing to do with consoles. Like you said yourself Origins was ported to consoles despite being rooted in CRPG design, and there's no reason why another Origins-like Dragon Age game couldn't exist and also be ported to consoles. The only adjustments that would have to be made would be the combat interface, everything to do with the story would be the same.

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@yummylee: Yeah, I'm being reductive. ME has been shown to be much more successful on consoles and in the mass market. DA:O did alright, but not alright enough for them to keep doing it.

As a result they are going to keep giving people reasons to stick with the series as a whole, which means keeping the story streamlined so that they can wrangle the story thread in the series correctly.

Then there is also the question of production resources. Having vastly different world states means making a lot of assets to deal with that. On something like Divinity they can deal with a lot more dialogue variety because they keep complex text interfaces. If I remember correctly DA:O had 60k lines of dialogue, DA:O has 80k lines with a speaking main character.

On a Bioware Livestream, Mike Laidlaw (the creative director for DA) stated that previous games offered more diametrically opposed dialogue choices, which was good. What wasn't so good is that characters would end up making choices that made them essentially schizophrenic and that players didn't play a character but instead played to single dialogue choices. I certainly remember making expedient choices in those games.

I also don't think the main plot line was anything but serviceable at best, which means the lack of consequence and agency in the main story isn't being replaced by a worthy story. It is something that they should do better, but at this stage in regards to story they have really only scored 1/3. I accept that this is the style of game Bioware does these days and recognize that (apart from Cd Projekt Red) there is not other studio that is going even approach the kind of stuff that they produce; I'd rather have this than have nothing.

This seems like a long apology for their game, but whatever, there it is.

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#31  Edited By Yummylee

@tuxfool: Dragon Age: Origins was at least at one point their highest selling game ever, even over Mass Effect 2. Times may have changed, but still, if the sales were to be believed then you'd think Origins would have been the one to influence Mass Effect rather than the other way around. That would also explain why EA wanted to get a sequel out ASAP as well.

Though of course Origins was readily available on PS3, 360 and PC from the start, whereas Mass Effect was at the time restricted to 360 and PC. Inquisition will likely sell even better if I had to guess considering how much praise there is that's being ushered over it from every direction. Still, point is Origins was said to have done pretty well for itself at the time.

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#32  Edited By LawGamer

I said this in another thread, but I think it's worth repeating here - as much as I loved the increased size of the world in DA:I, BioWare didn't do a good enough job of scaling up the story and gameplay to match, which left a lot of things feeling pretty hollow.

Looking back at DA:O, there were two things it did really, really well from a story telling perspective that were lacking in DA:I, First, there were essentially two plot lines that were tied together. You had the "A" plot of getting an army together to fight the Blight, and you had the "B" plot of Loghain's coup attempt. It worked well because both plots ran concurrently - the resolution of each was tied up with the other. When you tried to address one problem, you were frequently frustrated by interference from the other. Want to stop the Blight? Well, too bad - Loghain is trying to kill you. Want to stop Loghain? Well, too bad - his opponents want the Blight dealt with first. The reason this worked so well was that it prevented the player from establishing any sense of safety or overwhelming power; you always had one nemesis or another in your face to bring you down a notch. Sure, you might have recruited the mages, hooray!, but then Loghain declares you traitors and sends assassins after you, boo!

The second thing DA:O did really well was giving each zone its own self-contained story with complete story arcs that had a defined beginning, middle, and end. For example, although recruiting the elves is about the broader context of building an army, in order to win their support you have to resolve their conflict with the werewolves first. Not only did this involve diving into a well-told story, it also gave you some agency to affect events while still remaining in the confines of the story. In other words, although I end up building my army no matter what, within that larger context I get to pick whether I want elves or werewolves. This makes a nice compromise between giving the player feeling of control over events while not throwing the overall story out of kilter.

By comparison, DA:I really didn't have two plots, unless you count the Breach as it's own separate thing. Even if you do, they don't run concurrently like in Origins, but consecutively. You close the Breach, and then Cory shows up. The problem is that once Cory is on the scene there aren't any other threats to interfere with you totally kicking his ass. Unlike in Origins, were you were trying to juggle the multiple tasks of building and army/stopping Loghain, Inquisition allows you to focus on one. The problem with this is that you eventually become so powerful that everything feels kind of trivial - you don't have that secondary antagonist to bring you down after a victory. It doesn't help that Cory is largely an absent antagonist for much of the game - to such an extent I found myself forgetting about him entirely. Not what you want to have happen with the Big Bad, an issue made more disappointing because BioWare made this same mistake before in ME3 (anyone remember Sovereign? Anyone? No?).

Secondly, most of the areas in DA:I felt very hollow from a story perspective. Largely because you didn't have a secondary plot to drive events, a lot of the areas felt disconnected from your main goal of fighting Cory. Instead of some large, overarching problem you needed to solve or prevent, most areas just boiled down to "kill these Venatori/Red Templars because. . . reasons? They're evil yo!" Areas like the Dales, with the two opposing Orleasian armies, were just screaming out to have their own self-contained plot lines that tied into the main event, but instead they were just sort of there. Content, sure, but none of it felt particularly meaningful to your overall goal. If DA:I had a little bit more of that Origins-style story structure, it would have been totally outstanding, intend it's merely "good."

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I really enjoyed Inqusition from a lore and world-building perspective. Corypheus wasn't very interesting character, but what he was a pretty good twist (and it calls back to the intro of DA:O). I kind of wish they took it even further and revealed more about Andranstre and the Maker, instead of delving into the ancient elves. The ending (specifically the Corypheus fight) most certainly felt rushed compared to the rest of the game.

I enjoyed all the characters, though I didn't pick up Vivenne since I've been pretty anti-Chantry/pro-mage freedom since the first game. I didn't even know she was a party member which is nice, I guess. Dorian is my favorite newcomer. His sexuality was handled particularly well (although his dad trying to use blood magic to make him strait was incredibly silly).

Also, I was satisfied with how the previous games impacted the state of the world. Even if it's a few lines of dialog, it makes a difference for me. There are little details like Cullen recalling he had a thing for my Warden in the first game (a detail that is specific to female mages) are great. I didn't know Hawke would show up, so that was a good surprise. Apparently, Alistair or Logaine will play bigger roles depending on what you do in DA:O, which makes me want to do another playthough.

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@yummylee: No doubt. But the real problem is nobody is satisfied with it doing well; it is all relative to expectations set by the publisher. I'd also say that the budget for Origins was a bit lower than this game. The relative sparseness of the plot is a bit curious given that the same head writer worked on all 3 games, maybe it was a one trick pony in terms of storytelling.

I'd speculate that they wasted a lot of time wrestling with the technology leaving them less time to deal with the grander objectives. This game lacks the traditional DA prelude that was used to flesh out the origin of the MC and the ending was clearly rushed regardless of how weak the main antagonist was.

Hopefully they'll pay attention to these complaints when working on the next iteration.

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I think the main missions told their own interesting stories, and the primary conflict was an intriguing premise. However most of the main missions failed to tie into the greater conflict in an interesting way, and that conflict suffers as a result.

"In Your Heart Shall Burn" is the only chapter where the main plot truly shines. It really does shine though. It was great that they took a moment of triumph for the characters, and used it as an opportunity to destroy everything they've spent the first act building, twisting that moment of triumph into one of the darkest points in the story. And then they take that loss, and use it as the fuel to build something bigger and better than anyone dreamed of. Definitely the high point of the story for me. I also really appreciated the dark future mission, the journey into the fade, and the Orlesian court, but they felt too much like side stories.

It's unfortunate that I would consider the ending a low point. It was about as anti climactic as it could be. Overlevelling was a problem for me all game, and even though I pumped it up to Nightmare for that encounter, my level 23 party members completely thrashed the final boss in like 15 minutes. From a narrative standpoint it was also a super dull encounter. You go in with a plan to defeat the guy and it works out pretty much exactly how you expect it to without any consequence or variation. Then they barely elaborate on the fate of the inquisitor, the inquisition, or your companions at all. Which worries me, because it makes me think the next game is going to be about these guys too, and I think this world is too big and diverse to focus on any one group.

Really the main plot isn't what I come to Bioware games for though, it's the characters. Most of their stories are super well done, even if they feel a bit brief. Blackwall was definitely the standout for me, I thought that was a really cool twist. Cole is noteworthy for having a decision that feels super meaningful for that character. Dorian was a surprise hit for me, as someone who initially found him insufferable. I was happy to finally learn something about Varric, but I still feel like I don't know much about the guy for all the time I've spent with him. Also Vivienne is the worst, the only way they can salvage that character is by turning her into some sort of villain.

The quality of the story isn't really a problem to me, but the quantity is. I feel like there's a lot of story stuff, but it's spread too thin. It's basically the opposite of the problem DA2 had. Rather than running through the same area on a dozen different adventures you're running through a dozen different areas on one adventure. They need to find a better balance. I would happily trade 50% of the side quests and a couple areas in exchange for some more fleshed out companion quests, and a few extra main story missions.

I also believe the story would benefit from having more frequent and meaningful choices. I'm not saying I want to destroy a people, or elect a new king every 10 minutes but I want to have small scale choices more often. For example in Inquisition someone will tell you that they're missing an item that's super important to them, you can go find it and then bring it back to them. Dull as fuck. In Origins someone can give you the same quest, but when you find the item, you'll be given the option to keep it for yourself, sell it back to them, or give it back just to be a nice guy. Suddenly you've turned this dumb fetch quest in an opportunity to define what kind of person my character is, and for my party to react to that. Way more interesting.

In my eyes Inquisition is like a semi reboot for the series after the failure of Dragon Age 2. They reset the course of the franchise and for the most part I'm happy which direction they chose to go. There will be more Dragon Age games after this, and I just hope they recognize which changes worked and which didn't. Still if Dragon Age 4 is as good as Inquisition, I'll be happy.

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#36  Edited By ShadyPingu  Online

Just one other thing I remember bothering me: I wish the writers didn't feel the need to have everyone super-earnestly tell me how awesome I am all the time. It's a bit patronizing.

I know that's what Bioware makes (sans DA2), and on some level, I knew that when I bought the game. They just need to tone it down. I don't need such copious amounts of ego-stroking to get into the fantasy. I already know I'm the best hero. I'm the protagonist in a video game, how could I not be!

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I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the last parts of the game is that you never see your recruitment decisions pop up. You can choose to recruit the wardens, templars, Brial's elven spies, etc, and after making those decisions, I never saw any of them do shit. They just get "added to the ever growing Inquisition army" and you see a few wandering around skyhold, but beyond that nothing is said. They just give you a monologue from Morrigan stating all the choices you made, and that's it.

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I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the last parts of the game is that you never see your recruitment decisions pop up. You can choose to recruit the wardens, templars, Brial's elven spies, etc, and after making those decisions, I never saw any of them do shit. They just get "added to the ever growing Inquisition army" and you see a few wandering around skyhold, but beyond that nothing is said. They just give you a monologue from Morrigan stating all the choices you made, and that's it.

They simply result in a few War Table missions. It's pretty much the same as DA:O where all your recruitments results in what are essentially glorified power-ups during the last stage of the game.

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#39  Edited By Yummylee

@turambar said:

@doctordonkey said:

I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the last parts of the game is that you never see your recruitment decisions pop up. You can choose to recruit the wardens, templars, Brial's elven spies, etc, and after making those decisions, I never saw any of them do shit. They just get "added to the ever growing Inquisition army" and you see a few wandering around skyhold, but beyond that nothing is said. They just give you a monologue from Morrigan stating all the choices you made, and that's it.

They simply result in a few War Table missions. It's pretty much the same as DA:O where all your recruitments results in what are essentially glorified power-ups during the last stage of the game.

Actually getting to bring in squads of your army (which may include motherfucking werewolves!) for combat assistance > Dry text War Table missions. I don't think they're the same at all.

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@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

@doctordonkey said:

I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the last parts of the game is that you never see your recruitment decisions pop up. You can choose to recruit the wardens, templars, Brial's elven spies, etc, and after making those decisions, I never saw any of them do shit. They just get "added to the ever growing Inquisition army" and you see a few wandering around skyhold, but beyond that nothing is said. They just give you a monologue from Morrigan stating all the choices you made, and that's it.

They simply result in a few War Table missions. It's pretty much the same as DA:O where all your recruitments results in what are essentially glorified power-ups during the last stage of the game.

Actually getting to bring in squads of your army (which may include motherfucking werewolves!) for combat assistance > Dry text War Table missions. I don't think they're the same at all.

I find them both to be quite uninspired.

You're telling me the only difference between forcing all mages of the Circle to go Tranquil or not is what interchangeable fodder units show up for the last 30 minutes? And that's suppose to feel like a meaningful consequence? The same is true for the werewolves / elves. They can be angry chickens for all I care if what I do for 90% of the game simply result in what units gets called in as a power-up for the last 30.

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@turambar said:

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

@doctordonkey said:

I think the biggest thing that bothered me about the last parts of the game is that you never see your recruitment decisions pop up. You can choose to recruit the wardens, templars, Brial's elven spies, etc, and after making those decisions, I never saw any of them do shit. They just get "added to the ever growing Inquisition army" and you see a few wandering around skyhold, but beyond that nothing is said. They just give you a monologue from Morrigan stating all the choices you made, and that's it.

They simply result in a few War Table missions. It's pretty much the same as DA:O where all your recruitments results in what are essentially glorified power-ups during the last stage of the game.

Actually getting to bring in squads of your army (which may include motherfucking werewolves!) for combat assistance > Dry text War Table missions. I don't think they're the same at all.

I find them both to be quite uninspired.

You're telling me the only difference between forcing all mages of the Circle to go Tranquil or not is what interchangeable fodder units show up for the last 30 minutes? And that's suppose to feel like a meaningful consequence? The same is true for the werewolves / elves. They can be angry chickens for all I care if what I do for 90% of the game simply result in what units gets called in as a power-up for the last 30.

Eh, I was fine with it. You recruit your army, and then are actually able to use your army! They could have done more with your choices, have each one ripple throughout the entire game... but that seems like a pipe dream unfortunately. Inquisition, however, has only regressed your 'decisions' into irrelevance even further.

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, your decisions would affect how your party sees you, which actually mattered in Origins unlike in Inquisition.

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#42  Edited By Turambar

@yummylee said:

Eh, I was fine with it. You recruit your army, and then are actually able to use your army! They could have done more with your choices, have each one ripple throughout the entire game... but that seems like a pipe dream unfortunately. Inquisition, however, has only regressed your 'decisions' into irrelevance even further.

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, your decisions would affect how your party sees you, which actually mattered in Origins unlike in Inquisition.

And there in lied the problem. It didn't feel like an army. I was calling in a mere handful of guys at a time as a power-up.

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

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@turambar: And yet it still managed to evoke the feeling of me having an army behind me better than during Inquisition, the third game in the series.

Now, obviously Origins could have done more, every game could always be better. What I would envision that would work is you basically ordering your different armies to do this or that, much like how you gave each squad member in ME2 a particular role for the suicide mission. That there could have made for an awesome end battle, and depending on what units you had at your side could in theory play out in a number of ways. Such as the golems making it easier to hold a particular bit of territory or what have you. This RTS-lite thing could have been really impressive to behold, but what we got I was still OK with. Plus, my idea sounds like it would have been quite the undertaking... And of course, one would usually hope they would strive to be better in that regard in the sequels! However...

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#44  Edited By Yummylee

@turambar said:

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

You're referring to the gifts system? Yes, that was stupid and easily exploitable. Though I don't know what you mean in the bolded part. None of my choices seemed to really matter to anyone in any great deal. There was Hawke dying, which make Varric all sad and even changed his tarot card. However he's similarly rather depressed, as does his tarot card change, should Stroud die as well.

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@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

You're referring to the gifts system? Yes, that was stupid and easily exploitable. Though I don't know what you mean in the bolded part. None of my choices seemed to really matter to anyone in any great deal. There was Hawke dying, which make Varric all sad and even changed his tarot card. However he's similarly rather depressed, as does his tarot card change, should Stroud die as well.

The one that immediately pops to mind is how not taking Leliana with you when you desecrate the ashes of Andraste prevents you from being forced to kill her. There are other cases where choices made that would piss certain party members off can be circumvented by simply not having those party members with you though no specifics come to mind immediately.

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#46  Edited By Yummylee

@turambar said:

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

You're referring to the gifts system? Yes, that was stupid and easily exploitable. Though I don't know what you mean in the bolded part. None of my choices seemed to really matter to anyone in any great deal. There was Hawke dying, which make Varric all sad and even changed his tarot card. However he's similarly rather depressed, as does his tarot card change, should Stroud die as well.

The one that immediately pops to mind is how not taking Leliana with you when you desecrate the ashes of Andraste prevents you from being forced to kill her. There are other cases where choices made that would piss certain party members off can be circumvented by simply not having those party members with you though no specifics come to mind immediately.

Oh. I see that as because she's actually right there, so she's going to go straight to action in her attempts to stop you. Whereas if she's just at the camp she'll at least... leave you? I wanna say she will leave your party if you desecrate the ashes but didn't have her at your side during the moment, though I'm not entirely sure. Her approval meter will still go down pretty dramatically in any case.

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Turambar

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#47  Edited By Turambar

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

You're referring to the gifts system? Yes, that was stupid and easily exploitable. Though I don't know what you mean in the bolded part. None of my choices seemed to really matter to anyone in any great deal. There was Hawke dying, which make Varric all sad and even changed his tarot card. However he's similarly rather depressed, as does his tarot card change, should Stroud die as well.

The one that immediately pops to mind is how not taking Leliana with you when you desecrate the ashes of Andraste prevents you from being forced to kill her. There are other cases where choices made that would piss certain party members off can be circumvented by simply not having those party members with you though no specifics come to mind immediately.

Oh. I see that as because she's actually right there, so she's going to go straight to action in her attempts to stop you. Whereas if she's just at the camp she'll at least... leave you? I wanna say she will leave your party if you desecrate the ashes but didn't have her at your side during the moment, though I'm not entirely sure. Her approval meter will still go down pretty dramatically in any case.

Nope, if she isn't there, she asks what you did there. You respond with "Don't worry about it", and she's all like "Oh, ok". Her approval meter does not drop, iirc.

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@turambar said:

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

@yummylee said:

@turambar said:

Also, this may speak to the different ways in which I approach RPGs, but if you give me choices that should have potential consequences with my party members, giving me ways to nullify any such consequences makes the entire exercise rather pointless. I actually liked that DA:I at least made it so that choices made affected not just the approval of your current party, but everyone as a whole.

You're referring to the gifts system? Yes, that was stupid and easily exploitable. Though I don't know what you mean in the bolded part. None of my choices seemed to really matter to anyone in any great deal. There was Hawke dying, which make Varric all sad and even changed his tarot card. However he's similarly rather depressed, as does his tarot card change, should Stroud die as well.

The one that immediately pops to mind is how not taking Leliana with you when you desecrate the ashes of Andraste prevents you from being forced to kill her. There are other cases where choices made that would piss certain party members off can be circumvented by simply not having those party members with you though no specifics come to mind immediately.

Oh. I see that as because she's actually right there, so she's going to go straight to action in her attempts to stop you. Whereas if she's just at the camp she'll at least... leave you? I wanna say she will leave your party if you desecrate the ashes but didn't have her at your side during the moment, though I'm not entirely sure. Her approval meter will still go down pretty dramatically in any case.

Nope, if she isn't there, she asks what you did there. You respond with "Don't worry about it", and she's all like "Oh, ok". Her approval meter does not drop, iirc.

Oh, well if that is the case then that's a bit silly. Origins is still better than Inquisition in nearly every way regardless!

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I want a full DA game dedicated to Morrigan and the crazy shit going on in her life. I find her character fascinating. Maybe its just the voice actor that brings her to life so much. But I find her to be the best character in both games shes in. I was pretty disappointed that you couldn't make her a party member. Having her banter again would have been great. Also Flemeth is pretty great. And the whole thing with her and Solas could be cool if done right I guess.

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Now that I've had another week to gestate and read what others have said I've definitely warmed up on the game.

If anything, I think this game was Bioware proving they had the groundwork for a Good Game, somewhat at the cost of a Good Story. It feels a lot like Mass Effect 2 in that way - great characters, and the moment to moment gameplay was improved dramatically - but it's probably the weakest of the series narrative-wise. Unlike Mass Effect 2, however, Bioware seems to have at least a vague grasp on where the story should go from here. Inquisition feels like the setup to the actual narrative.

In hindsight it's clear that the Solas/Fen'harel reveal was the real climax (there's hints all over the goddamn place), and that he totally absorbed Flemeth/Mythal (willingly or not). From that perspective, I'm really excited for where the series could go. The Templar/Mage conflict was a cool game changer when it happened in DA2, but the way it was pretty much swept under the rug in DA:I suggests that they probably won't be expanding on that aspect too much in the future.

In my opinion, the coolest aspect of the Dragon Age lore is the religion and how it has intersects with the various characters. Flemeth's unique parallelism with Andraste has always been alluded to, if not outright stated, and based on the reveals in Inquisition it seems that there's a lot of crossover between the (Real) Elven and Chantry religions. The epilogue seems to hint that Solas will try to shake some shit up majorly, which is most likely the direction Bioware will go.

In conclusion: I'm optimistic.

Even though an argument can be made that a personal story like Dragon Age 2 (done well) would be much more effective than yet another "the world is falling apart you're the only one who can fix it" story.

Also, can someone tell me what was going on with the Wardens in their epilogue? In mine it said that they were fighting amongst themselves, but I wasn't sure if it was because of the choices I made or if that was gonna happen either way.

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