Story Discussion (Spoilers!)

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gaminghooligan

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Here's a plot point that really threw me: the well of sorrows, why the hell couldn't I destroy it. I mean I get that there's the option there for you or Morrigan to take a drink, but man that really pissed me off since all the dialogue choices up to that point from my character were leading up to me letting the elf guy destroy it to protect the world. Then Morrigan just stabs that guy. I felt like my character (who I mostly played as a nonbeliever with a slight mistrust for magic) would have never let that slide and then I'm left with the choice of me taking the power or her. Also, I didn't understand what the point of turning the mage lady sidekick against Cory. All it did was let me avoid a fight, I was hoping for some in fighting among the ranks.

All in all I liked the character moments way more than the story. Blackwall, Dorian, and Ironbull all had amazing moments tied to their missions.

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Quicklyer

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#52  Edited By Quicklyer

Doesn't Giant Bomb usually have a GOTY award for best side mission? I sure hope this one gets a nomination for the name alone:

No Caption Provided

Definitely made me laugh.

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Karkarov

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Here's a plot point that really threw me: the well of sorrows, why the hell couldn't I destroy it. I mean I get that there's the option there for you or Morrigan to take a drink, but man that really pissed me off since all the dialogue choices up to that point from my character were leading up to me letting the elf guy destroy it to protect the world. Then Morrigan just stabs that guy. I felt like my character (who I mostly played as a nonbeliever with a slight mistrust for magic) would have never let that slide and then I'm left with the choice of me taking the power or her. Also, I didn't understand what the point of turning the mage lady sidekick against Cory. All it did was let me avoid a fight, I was hoping for some in fighting among the ranks.

All in all I liked the character moments way more than the story. Blackwall, Dorian, and Ironbull all had amazing moments tied to their missions.

I am a little mind boggled how all of you killed the elf guy. Did none of you try to diffuse the situation? It's actually rather easy for him to walk away alive.

Also the well choice is easy, morrigan. Why? Because if you have arcane lore (this late in the game why don't you?) you can reveal that whoever drinks out of it gets hit with a geas. You can't have the leader of the inquisition under some unclear weird geas that could force you to do god knows what. If anyone in the game needs control of their own faculties it is the inquisitor.

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Yummylee

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#54  Edited By Yummylee

@karkarov said:

@gaminghooligan said:

Here's a plot point that really threw me: the well of sorrows, why the hell couldn't I destroy it. I mean I get that there's the option there for you or Morrigan to take a drink, but man that really pissed me off since all the dialogue choices up to that point from my character were leading up to me letting the elf guy destroy it to protect the world. Then Morrigan just stabs that guy. I felt like my character (who I mostly played as a nonbeliever with a slight mistrust for magic) would have never let that slide and then I'm left with the choice of me taking the power or her. Also, I didn't understand what the point of turning the mage lady sidekick against Cory. All it did was let me avoid a fight, I was hoping for some in fighting among the ranks.

All in all I liked the character moments way more than the story. Blackwall, Dorian, and Ironbull all had amazing moments tied to their missions.

I am a little mind boggled how all of you killed the elf guy. Did none of you try to diffuse the situation? It's actually rather easy for him to walk away alive.

Also the well choice is easy, morrigan. Why? Because if you have arcane lore (this late in the game why don't you?) you can reveal that whoever drinks out of it gets hit with a geas. You can't have the leader of the inquisition under some unclear weird geas that could force you to do god knows what. If anyone in the game needs control of their own faculties it is the inquisitor.

The player doesn't kill the elf guy, Morrigan does. Also, I drank the well as mentioned earlier and there's literally no repercussions. That gas thing? Literally never occurs. Consequences, this game has none.

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Karkarov

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@yummylee said:

The player doesn't kill the elf guy, Morrigan does. Also, I drank the well as mentioned earlier and there's literally no repercussions. That gas thing? Literally never occurs. Consequences, this game has none.

Uh he can definitely survive Yummy, he was alive in my game. Also there was definite geas repercussions later on in the eluvian as I recall....

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gaminghooligan

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@karkarov said:

@yummylee said:

The player doesn't kill the elf guy, Morrigan does. Also, I drank the well as mentioned earlier and there's literally no repercussions. That gas thing? Literally never occurs. Consequences, this game has none.

Uh he can definitely survive Yummy, he was alive in my game. Also there was definite geas repercussions later on in the eluvian as I recall....

I guess I did something wrong, but I thought I chose the options that would diffuse the situation. Also I was more upset than anything by not having a choice to destroy it, I get that it's a big device to move the plot forward, but I hated that there was no way around that.

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Steadying

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I can't even remember if the elf guy died in my playthrough. I waaaaaanna say he didn't, though....I think...

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Karkarov

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I guess I did something wrong, but I thought I chose the options that would diffuse the situation. Also I was more upset than anything by not having a choice to destroy it, I get that it's a big device to move the plot forward, but I hated that there was no way around that.

Yeah that was annoying. At least end game scenes explain why Solas didn't even want to talk about using it himself.

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Yummylee

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@karkarov said:

@yummylee said:

The player doesn't kill the elf guy, Morrigan does. Also, I drank the well as mentioned earlier and there's literally no repercussions. That gas thing? Literally never occurs. Consequences, this game has none.

Uh he can definitely survive Yummy, he was alive in my game. Also there was definite geas repercussions later on in the eluvian as I recall....

Well, I don't know why it happened but... it did. Was really annoyed at how I couldn't tell Morrigan to just fuck right off, especially because if possible I would have gladly let the well be destroyed like the elf guy wanted.

Also, I don't recall any such downsides to drinking the well. You hear some voices, they lead you to Flemeth where you get your pet dragon, and then... well, you fight Cory. I spoke to a mate of mine who had Morrigan drink from the well and the differences are minimal; basically Morrigan will hear the voices and that's about it.

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Karkarov

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@yummylee said:

Well, I don't know why it happened but... it did. Was really annoyed at how I couldn't tell Morrigan to just fuck right off, especially because if possible I would have gladly let the well be destroyed like the elf guy wanted.

Also, I don't recall any such downsides to drinking the well. You hear some voices, they lead you to Flemeth where you get your pet dragon, and then... well, you fight Cory. I spoke to a mate of mine who had Morrigan drink from the well and the differences are minimal; basically Morrigan will hear the voices and that's about it.

Dude it is the implication.... if you drink the well it puts you under a geas that basically means Flemeth has total control over you. Case in point I had morrigan drink and in the scene where she is going to take her son because he has the god soul I try to stop her and she forces morrigan to attack me against her will. The inquisitor being literally under the control of someone else is not good stuff man, whether it has "in game" implications or not.

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Yummylee

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@karkarov said:

@yummylee said:

Well, I don't know why it happened but... it did. Was really annoyed at how I couldn't tell Morrigan to just fuck right off, especially because if possible I would have gladly let the well be destroyed like the elf guy wanted.

Also, I don't recall any such downsides to drinking the well. You hear some voices, they lead you to Flemeth where you get your pet dragon, and then... well, you fight Cory. I spoke to a mate of mine who had Morrigan drink from the well and the differences are minimal; basically Morrigan will hear the voices and that's about it.

Dude it is the implication.... if you drink the well it puts you under a geas that basically means Flemeth has total control over you. Case in point I had morrigan drink and in the scene where she is going to take her son because he has the god soul I try to stop her and she forces morrigan to attack me against her will. The inquisitor being literally under the control of someone else is not good stuff man, whether it has "in game" implications or not.

You could use 'implications' to justify every single faux-decision in any game ever. As I said, the differences between you or Morrigan drinking from the well are so inconsequential that the decision itself holds no weight. You still get your pet dragon regardless, and there are no real benefits or downsides to either choice. You don't gain a new skill, nor does Morrigan leave you or anything of the sort should you decide to drink it. Oh, my approval meter with some characters may go up/down, but again as I said earlier the whole approval system barely means anything anymore, except for who you want to have sex with. And also, that I didn't have the option to destroy it was really disappointing given how they kept building it up as if that may be a choice.

Frankly it's gotten to be pretty obvious that BioWare are less interested in letting people tell their own stories and would rather just be telling their own. And that's fine, whatever, but they thusly need to stop building their games up as these ''choose your own adventure/how will you rule the Inquisition???'' sorts of things.

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''Will you stand against it? Or lead this world to its bitter end...'' Right from the beginning, they made it out as if you would get the opportunity to really fuck things over, make a right mess of the world. Only of course there's no way that can happen; there isn't even an actual end game decision. You beat the big bad, celebration, and then Solas sequel-bait.

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triplestan

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@yummylee said:

''Will you stand against it? Or lead this world to its bitter end...'' Right from the beginning, they made it out as if you would get the opportunity to really fuck things over, make a right mess of the world. Only of course there's no way that can happen; there isn't even an actual end game decision. You beat the big bad, celebration, and then Solas sequel-bait.

I agree with you, to a point.

Even in Origins, a lot of the big choices come with the implicit promise that they will pay dividends in the sequels - aside from the epilogue slides, there's no discernible difference in the actual game (as long as you weren't a dick and made all your party members attack you). The closest any game of this type has gotten to world changing events is the branching paths of Witcher 2, but even those bottleneck to the same conclusion. CD Projekt succeeds where Bioware fails, and vice-versa - there are tons of huge choices to be made in the Witcher games, but ask me to describe a character other than Geralt, Triss or Dandilion and we'd be sitting here for a while (and even I read one of the damn books).

I do agree that the choices felt especially lackluster in Inquisition, though. For casting you as the leader of this huge group that changes the face of Thedas wherever it goes, Inquisition doesn't do a particularly great job of giving you reasons to care about those changes. The darkspawn are such a non-issue in Inquisition that the Grey Wardens just felt like any other group of jerks I would sentence, and the choice of who you supported as the Divine wasn't varied enough to seem different. I only had to stop and think about who would drink the well because I like Morrigan as a character, and I had to weigh the fact that she wanted to drink it, no matter the cost, with the fact that I didn't give a shit about the Inquisitor and what happened to him.

It's especially disappointing considering all the characters have history with and opinions about those choices, which was completely overlooked when it came time to make them. I want my party members to get really pissed about the things I do, or have my back when someone else does. The only reason I cared about what happened with the Genophage in Mass Effect was because Wrex hated it so much, and Mordin worked so hard to justify it. The characters are the best part of Bioware games, but only if they're an organic part of the world my protagonist is in - the Inquisition party members clearly have their own opinions on the world, based on how they react to your choices, but when you ask about them all you get is the Cliff Notes version.

I realize I kinda hijacked your point by the end there, but I agree that the choices would mean so much more if you had more of a connection to them - at least beyond "*Party Member* Slightly Disapproves".

If Bioware wants to railroad us down their own narrative, at least give us reasons to care about it.

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deactivated-5daa2dc0c43a6

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If any of you guys are interested, kotaku has a great write up on some of the theories and implications of that epilogue scene which kind of blew my mind. I had solas in my party throughout the game and although some dialogue with him seemed weird I never though much of it. Him being the "dread wolf" and solas being translated as pride, with the mission into the elven ruins called "what Pride has wrought", interesting stuff. Other then that cliffhanger I agree with alot of other thoughts on here that the story was pretty lackluster.

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Karkarov

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#64  Edited By Karkarov

@triplestan said:

@yummylee said:

''Will you stand against it? Or lead this world to its bitter end...'' Right from the beginning, they made it out as if you would get the opportunity to really fuck things over, make a right mess of the world. Only of course there's no way that can happen; there isn't even an actual end game decision. You beat the big bad, celebration, and then Solas sequel-bait.

I agree with you, to a point.

I won't deny what you guys are saying because you are right, in game, there is no real consequence. I wish they had shown real balls and when you did the templar mage thing that determined your companion. If you went for the templars, sorry, Dorian dies trying to stop Alexius by himself. If you go for Mages Cole is never heard from and we can assume the envy demon just eats him or something. Meanwhile.... you never actually hear from the envy demon ever again if you don't get the templars.... wonder about what happens to Alexius if you don't personally see to him? He also probably fades into obscurity.

If you care about the world and the story there is a lot there for you. If you are just some guy who showed up for Inquisition and never gave a crap about the lore, Origins, or the significance of DA 2 then well... you will probably find Inquisition lack luster. For all the comments also about how decisions in these games don't matter... well there are dozens of small differences for various reasons. For example let's just say there was no Alister cameo in my game. I also already showed the earlier example where you guys thought the elf at the well had to die when no, he doesn't.

As far as the Witcher goes not reading the books helps you a lot. Especially Witcher 1, cause Witcher 1 Geralt doesn't act a damn thing like Geralt from the novels. They try to band aid it with the memory loss nonsense at least. Like let's just say "real" Geralt would not be scoring with Triss every chance he gets and he would literally scoff at the Scoiatal asking him for help. Not that he would be super excited to help a king or anything either, lets just say he has a much more ... realistic world view than the games imply he does.

EDIT: I will say there was one huge missed opportunity which most people never would have seen but would have been awesome. If Alistair was king, Lohgain was dead, and Hawke's sibling had become a Grey Warden you could have had that Sibling be the "warden ally" you meet in Cloakwood. Imagine that choice for fans of DA2, spare hawke or hawke's sibling? That would have made the moment even more powerful for those select few.

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#65  Edited By triplestan

@karkarov: Don't get me wrong, I loved the game, but I think the choices felt lackluster to me because I am into the world of Dragon Age.

And while the small cameos were great - hearing about how Sten was the new Arishok in Kirkwall from Varric was awesome - other than passing mentions there was nothing of any real substance. Alistair only showed up for like two minutes for me, and compared to his cameo in DA2 it was really disappointing. At least in Mass Effect 2 there was a little fanfare when Wrex showed up again - Alistair just kind of shows up.

And I loved Dragon Age 2, but the whole huge payoff at the end was just a footnote in Inquisition. Anders is still alive, what's he up to? Carver is rolling around with the Wardens, where's he? The first big mission in Inquisition has you essentially sweeping the whole Mage/Templar conflict under the rug. That whole conflict is so integrally tied to the world of Dragon Age, and yet this random shmuck with a weird hand can just end it all?

To your point about the Fade mission, that was probably the best choice in the game. If Alistair is still a Warden at the end of Origins, he's the pal that Hawke calls! You have to choose between Hawke and Alistair! Thats. Awesome.But as it was, my choice was between Hawke and Stroud, which is pretty much a no-brainer. If it had been between Hawke and Carver, I would have at least had to think for a second (before choosing Hawke of course). I actually really liked the choice at the Well as well - the elf guy didn't die with me either, as he apparently did with everyone else, but choosing between Morrigan and the Inquisitor definitely stressed me out a bit, because I liked Morrigan and didn't want her to be under some weird mind control.

Which gets back to my point about the characters introduced in Inquisition: If any of them had expressed any interest whatsoever in the events that were happening, beyond what they say about them after the fact or what their Approve/Disapprove Meter says, it might make me a little more interested in those events. Mechanically, I think a lot was lost when they stopped doing the cinematic camera angles in companion conversations. The characters went from seeming like they were people, to seeming like robots that shuffle around slightly and make subtitles appear at the top of the screen. I think back to Dragon Age 2 and the conversations you have with Anders about the Chantry - it gives so much more weight to the drastic measures he takes at the end. Other than my romance with Cassandra and the conversations with Blackwall, nothing in Inquisition really gives me a sense of who any of the characters are, other than their surface-level archetypes. Dorian's story arc was great, he was one of my favorite characters, but I had no idea how he felt about what I had done at the end.

A mission like the end of Mass Effect 2, where your companions' loyalty is tested, or an unexpected betrayal like Dragon Age 2 would make the events matter so much more. As it was, it felt like they banked on the Solas reveal at the end a bit too much. As someone who is into the lore I thought it was a great twist, but I didn't find Solas particularly interesting in the main game at all.

I just want the characters to feel more organic, or to challenge me or show any agency whatsoever. Every time I would finish a mission in Inquisition it felt like I was "doing the rounds" to gauge my companions opinions on things, and nobody had any strong convictions about anything.

So I don't think the problem is necessarily the choices themselves, just the fact that none of them feel like they are going to mean anything until after the credits. It's a good way for Bioware to string you along for the sequel (the fact that I'm really excited for the next game is evidence of that) but it doesn't make for a particularly interesting story in the game you're playing now, and that's where I feel Inquisition falls flat.

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Colonel_Pockets

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Just finished the game.... I feel pretty underwhelmed with the conclusion. I lost the thread of the main story because of all of the side content in this game. I think this is a case where less could have been more. In a game like Mass Effect 2, Bioware had less missions, but the missions were fully detailed and had great moments to them. Many of the missions end up feeling like you just walk up to something and click A on it. I really enjoyed it though. Now I just have to wait for The Witcher III for my next big RPG.

On a side note: Do you think that Bioware will make an expansion along the lines of Dragon Age: Awakening for this game? There are a lot of interesting plot threads that could be explored. There will probably be DLC, but I am not sure if they will be small side stories or a large expansion.

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