Dragon Age: Twitter Review Pt. 4

By Shamus
on Dec 7, 2009
Filed under:
Game Reviews

I’ve been playing #DragonAge a week. Suddenly new EULA pops up when I launch it, and I have to agree to play? Pfft.

The discussion as to whether or not it’s enforceable or not is beside the point: This is simply no way to do business.

The whole thing has a sick, Kafkaesque flavor to it. Clumsy bureaucratic shackles are added to a simple economic transaction, presented in a way that most people can’t even understand. The company knows nobody reads the EULA, but they pay the lawyers to make one anyway. The lawyers know the thing is gibberish to the intended audience, but they write it anyway. The user knows it’s all a joke and it has no meaning to them, but they agree to it anyway. And the company knows that the user knows it’s all a joke.

Paying lawyers to draft unenforceable contracts for people who can’t understand them to perpetuate a system nobody takes seriously.

What a stupid waste of everyone’s time and money.

Except for the lawyers. I think they’re happy with the system.

Alistair from #DragonAge always makes me think of Webb from Mitchell and Webb. Which makes him even funnier.

I don’t know if it’s the voice or the accent, but in my mind Alistair is played by Webb.

Alistair, you silly man. Of course we have a relationship.  <em>I’m letting you wear my Blood Dragon armor.</em> That’s pretty much the same thing as sleeping together.
Alistair, you silly man. Of course we have a relationship. I’m letting you wear my Blood Dragon armor. That’s pretty much the same thing as sleeping together.

Hey #DragonAge, I can SEE this tree thing is going to jump us in a couple of steps. No fair making it un-targetable now. Cheater.

This goes double for boss fights. As people have already mentioned, this game does not play fair. All too often bosses will be invulnerable until you chat them up, after which you will be surrounded, with the main character right in the center of the room. Hope you’re not playing a mage! Sucker.

It’s not a game-killer, but it is a sore spot whenever it happens. Setting up the perfect strategy or laying traps for your foes is part of the fun. It would actually be nice to be able to out-maneuver a boss instead of just out-drinking them in the potion chugging contest.

You can’t make a game like #DragonAge without paying tribute to the “gladiatorial arena” trope.

It’s been part of KOTOR, Jade Empire, Neverwinter Nights 2, Oblivion, Morrowwind, Fable, Fable 2, and probably a lot of other games I’m not thinking of at the moment.

A thieves’ den should not be larger and more populous than the city in which it’s based. #DragonAge

Ah. Another classic trope. Fighting through the thieves’ den in the Dwarven slums seemed to take forever. I was sick of killing hairy midgets before I even hit the halfway point. The final body count was greater than all of the visible population of all of the other Dwarven districts combined.

#DragonAge needs more “say NOTHING” options in dialog. Particularly when it would be inappropriate to speak anyway. (Dwarven Assembly.)

At several points in the game people turn to you and ask for you to “weigh in” on a discussion as to how a foe or prisoner should be treated or how a dispute should be settled. Then your answer overshadows everything that’s been said before and becomes law.

There is a dispute among the Dwarves, and I was really frustrated when I was denied the option to at least pretend to be a pragmatic or impartial party. I could only (enthusiastically) endorse A or B.

I had a greatly inflated impression of how long #DragonAge really is. I started over JUST BEFORE I entered the endgame. Shoulda kept going.

The structure of the game is straightforward:

ACT I

1) Origin story, of which there are six. Play them all!
2) Secondary tutorial area, which introduces the main plot, establishes characters, and gets the characters into place for the big adventure.

ACT II

These next steps can be done in any order, although some areas are easier than others and you’ll fare better if you can guess or intuit what order the designers intended.

3) Quest for the Mages.
4) Quest for the Human city.
5) Quest for the Elves.
6) Quest for the Dwarves

ACT III

7) Quest to wrap up the lesser foe
8) Quest to beat the Big Bad

The second Act makes up probably 80% of the game. I didn’t know it, but I had just finished Act II when I started the game over. For some reason, I had simply assumed that Act III would be just as massive and involved as Act II, and that I was only halfway through the game.

Can’t stand Morrigan in #DragonAge, but her approval of my char is always the highest by far. Odd.

Morrigan is a venom-spitting shrew who will disapprove of you whenever you fail to act like a bootlick towards her and a jackass towards everyone else. However, you can leave her cranky ass at camp and bring her gifts, which will prevent her from seeing your non-jerk deeds and gradually improve her impression of you. In all of my trips through the game (now on my third, counting the one that ended at the start of Act III) her approval of me has always been the easiest to raise. Playing as a male it was even moreso.

Morrigan, I don’t care how much of your boobs you show me, you’re still a rotten jerk.
Morrigan, I don’t care how much of your boobs you show me, you’re still a rotten jerk.

I can’t bear to sell this armor but I’m not using it now. Sten, you’ve just been promoted to coat-rack. #DragonAge

Mayor Murdock needs to pick one voice and stick with it. Keeps going from “Heavy Smoker” to “Smooth Baritone”.

The mayor of Redcliff starts out with a gruff lower-class accent but the odd line will be delivered in a different tone of voice with a different accent. I assume they brought back the voice actor at a later point and didn’t make sure the performances lined up.

Kind of unexpected, considering the truly stellar quality of the performances elsewhere. I wonder how this detail slipped by. (My guess: THIS GAME IS BIG.)

This wraps up my tweets for Acts I and II. The next posts will focus on the final Act.

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202020426 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Smirker says:

    The bit about the coat rack was so very true. Since i have small kids at home i didn’t want them wandering by if i was in camp and wondering why people were in their underwear. Plus, after going through all the trouble to get armor like the Juggernaut there was NO WAY I was going to sell it. Besides – its so pretty!

  2. BlackBloc says:

    Some of my non-archer companions carry my extra special arrows in their secondary weapon slots…

    BTW if you think the dwarf thug hideout was annoying to slug threw… since I did the dwarf commoner origin I had to go through it TWICE. Ugh.

  3. Your friendly neighborhood grammar whore says:

    Shamus, you missed an “I” for Act III.

    –Your friendly neighborhood grammar whore

  4. Jarenth says:

    “Out-drinking the boss in a potion-chugging contest”. That pretty much describes every boss fight experience I’ve had in this game, including the one where I was forced to bring Wynne along. I’m fairly certain at the end of the game Alistair had healing potions for blood.

    Makes you wonder how the Battle at Ostagar would’ve gone if they’d just handed out some free healing potions beforehand.

  5. Ross Mills says:

    I think what you’re agreeing to is the automated login to the Bioware website, not the game itself.

  6. Patrick says:

    Loven the DA-Tweets, Shamus. They seem particualrly appropriate, because while this is a good game in many ways, I often feel like I’m playing a late beta. There are just a lot of awkward balance issues and things they didn’t quite think through. Plus, I’m mildly offended at the shameless in-game lewt whoring and the fact they basically gimped the game in order to make a few extra bucks on the side. I’m going to sell mine and maybe buy it again a few years down the line when they release the Super Secret Double Ninja Tiger Mega-Platinum Edition.

    I’m wondering if anyone figured out a few things:
    A) What is the ‘Magic order you should somehow know to do things in’?
    B) Is the level-scaling based on your level or your progress through the zone/game? “cuz it could make things very convenient if otherwise?
    C) How exactly do you get Sten to like you? I went though his conversations as much as possible, resetting to try and get a better Relationship bonus, and gave him some stuff. But when I take him along I can’t seem to find anything he likes. He seems to be offended we’re getting involved with anything at all, even though I don’t want to miss my pretty little chunks of XP.
    D) Good lord, how in the bloody blazes do you get Wynne to teach you Spirit Healer? I’ve basically agreed with her on everythin (played a Mage) and got up to a fairly hefty level, and she’s told em all about it, and she loves me like ehr own child, and thus far… nada. I know I can just buy a stupid booklet instead, but it’s annoying me a lot.

  7. Nathon says:

    Gladitorial arena: You forgot NWN1. There was that inn with the gladiators in the basement.

  8. potemkin.hr says:

    In my opinion, they should have added the ability to intimidate someone in a conversation with your mabari war dog. I think it’s a great idea and would add more interesting situations.

  9. LazerFX says:

    There’s two in World of Warcraft (Gladiatorial arena’s, that is)… and an achievement to complete them. If you’re doing them at level (there’s a lvl 70 one, and a lvl 80 one) you’ll need between 3 and 5 people to successfully do it.

  10. Steve S says:

    A) What is the ‘Magic order you should somehow know to do things in’?

    Redcliffe, Mage Tower, Elves, Dwarves.

    Though to be honest it’s not *that* critical (I did elves first…was tough, but do-able), and you can probably happily reverse 1+2 & 3+4 in that list. The latter 2 are definitely the harder though.

    Also, if you don’t have a healer mage then you will probably want to get Wynne, which means mage tower first.

    D) Good lord, how in the bloody blazes do you get Wynne to teach you Spirit Healer?

    You don’t. You learn it from a book you buy in the magic shop in Denerim. And once you’ve bought it (12g or so) you can reload, get your money back & still have it learned! Silly system really…

  11. JKjoker says:

    @Patrick:

    a&b) the one shamus said, mages, humans, elves and dwarves, there is a level scaling going on but it doesnt change the “size” of the encounter or the length of the dungeon

    c) you need to give him paintings until he likes you then you can talk to him, the right choices give +15, you can get him to 100 pretty easily, about his response to quests, just dont use him in lothering and redcliff, like the rest of the characters the frequency of his lines during dialogue drops significantly, once you reach Denerim (actIII) theyve all taken the vow of silence, persuade will save you from some of their spaz attacks (the gave doesnt always give you the option tho)

    d) buy the book, then reload the game and youll still have the money and the specialization unlocked, you can unlock everything that way, even if you are not the right class, only the Blood Mage one requires the PC to be a Mage

    • Shamus says:

      If you’re ever wondering what to say to Sten, go for the options that sound like things that HE would say to YOU.

      STEN: You have not impressed me so far.

      PLAYER: I’m not here to impress you.

      Sten approves (+5)

      While he’s arguably more “heartless” than Morrigan, I like Sten more because he at least treats others the way he expects to be treated. If he’s rude or blunt with you, understand that this is his way of showing respect. On the other hand Morrigan will be a bitch to you, but if you respond in kind she’ll hate you for it.

  12. MadTinkerer says:

    “You can’t make a game like #DragonAge without paying tribute to the “gladiatorial arena” trope.”

    It goes back to the days of D&D (actually way further back, but that’s where it got popular). Like the “fighting tournament trope” of kung fu movies and fighting games, it gives a really nice excuse to get a bunch of different characters to fight each other without worrying too much about exposition or whether they’d even care to fight if there wasn’t an arena to fight in.

    In the Dark Sun campaign (both pen & paper and the first PC game as well as the novels), the PCs start out as gladiators and that’s how they meet. It’s like an extreme take on “you all meet in a tavern”.

    It’s also really easy to design and program. Starting off testing the AI in a forest is much more difficult to implement than starting the AI off in an arena with their target right in front of them. I bet the arenas are the earliest parts of the game the teams complete.

    Also: like lots of things, Ultima did it way back when as well.

  13. Pickly says:

    Your new star on chest post seems a bit borked (In that I can’t access it to comment on.)

    (sorry for the off topicness for this dragon age post.)

    • Shamus says:

      Pickly: I accidentally set it to go live today instead of tomorrow. When I noticed that I corrected the date.

      Sorry about that, but I’d rather not have TWO giant posts today and zero for tomorrow.

  14. Volatar says:

    I commented on it before you caught the mistake. I feel like it refresh your blog too much now xD

  15. Zel says:

    I admire your endurance, seeing as you played the game (almost) twice already and still seem to enjoy it. I stopped my second run after the first quest of ACT2 (I just wanted to see if a noble dwarven origin changed anything for the Orzammar part of ACT2… it doesn’t).

    The main reason is mentioned in your post: dungeons are way too long to replay just to see two minutes of dialogue change slightly. I think by the end my little team slaughtered more than 1000 humans and 1000 darkspawn, not to mention at least a couple hundred dwarves and wild animals. I should have listened to Sten and gone fight the darkspawn army on my own, I’m sure it would have worked out, considering how useless the armies are at the end.

  16. Dev Null says:

    Sheesh. Haven’t played the game (yet) but your screen shot of the Morrigan tells it all; she’s happy when you give her stuff because she’s not wearing any clothes, fer chrissakes! Even a dagger or suchlike would cover more than that… is it supposed to be a shirt? We’ll call it an artfully-draped scarf, shall we?

  17. Rutskarn says:

    Ever single dialogue with Morrigan needs a, “Morrigan, f*** off,” option.

    “Excuse me, oh exalted hero, but you seem to have forgotten to…”

    “Morrigan, f*** off.”

    “…truly, a stunning retort. I find myself dazzled by your…”

    “Morrigan. F*** off.”

    “That’s not a–”

    “Morrigan. F***. Off.”

    “…(quietly) Why didn’t you love me, Mommy?”

    Regarding the traps: I remember, in the Deeproad, I was running to a fork in the tunnel. A spider was in the fork, and immediately ran down one fork a ways. He then stood there, about 15 feet from me, waiting patiently. I could clearly see a spider web five feet in front of him, strung across the cavern. Nice try, I thought, and kept going past.

    In the next room, I got into a massive fight and wanted to save, but I couldn’t–there were still enemies nearby. What do you mean, nearby? You mean that spider? Even if it weren’t for the solid rock between us, we wouldn’t even be able to see each other!

    Finally, I sigh, run back, walk through the obvious cobweb…I swear, it might as well have been a giant mousetrap or something…and get ambushed from the front AND from behind by previous-invisible giant massive spiders. Whee.

  18. Old_Geek says:

    Is the “Lesser Foe” from Act III the same one for everybody, or does it vary based on origin story? I know who mine was, and he only seemed really appropriate for the Human Noble story.

  19. JKjoker says:

    @Old_Geek: (minor spoiler) if you mean howe, as far as i know its always howe, i dont think its an spoiler but since shamus hid the ones before this, shrug

  20. Jarenth says:

    @Rutskarn: I fully agree on that. I also think there should be an “Alistair, stop whining already.” option every time Alistair opens his gob to second-guess me.

    Seriously, Alistair, you lost your whining privileges to moment you, clearly a superior Grey Warden, decided to follow me around because you ‘don’t like leading’. Sten didn’t try to kill us, Shale didn’t try to kill us, Zevran didn’t try to kill us, I’m right, you’re wrong, shut up.

  21. ifriit says:

    re: EULAs, I’ve always wondered whether a defense of “I never agreed to any EULA” would work should you somehow be charged with violating it. I’m not sure the fact that you’ve got the software installed would constitute proof–they know the installer should show a EULA, but they’ve got nothing to show it actually did or that you agreed to it.

    Agreed on your analysis of EULAs, though.

  22. krellen says:

    Alistair gets less whiny if you romance him, and he mans up even more in Act III if you take that path.

    He mans up so much so that he drove my first character to take the noble ending over the other choices, because he broke her heart.

  23. Jarenth says:

    @krellen: Let it be clear that I actually really like Alistair. He was part of my party since the tutorial and I really enjoyed trading wits with him. It just got very annoying when he kept second-guessing me all the time, mostly because pretty much every decision I made was the right one.

    I mean, my decisions were made using video game logic and his objections were real world logic, so I can see where he was coming from, but I’d still appreciate a ‘Shush’ option.

  24. JKjoker says:

    yes, there should always be a “i’m genre savvy so shut up and accept it, BIATCH!” option

    i saw most of the 1000 betrayals in the game coming a mile away yet the game prevented me from confronting them or doing anything, meh

    what got me the most about Alistar was the 2 stupid speeches he gives, its obvious they are the equivalent to Shepard’s speech in Mass effect but since your character is silent someone else had to do it, and Alistar sucks at it

  25. Patrick says:

    Thanks for the advice, Shamus and all. I guesss I messed up because I thought you were supposed to do the Elves and then Mages. And apparently the militia and knights in Arl Eamon’s town don’t advance in power nearly as quickly as the undead.

  26. Heron says:

    Regarding EULAs, continuing along ifriit’s line of thought (post 24): they’ve all got clauses prohibiting reverse engineering.

    But if you don’t agree to it (edit: if you don’t agree because you were never presented the option to agree with it), then you’re not bound by those clauses.

    So if you reverse engineer the *installer*… and remove the EULA screen…

    … and *then* install it…

    win?

  27. Ham08 says:

    “Sten, you’ve just been promoted to coat-rack.” Hilarious!

  28. Sean Riley says:

    As an aside, about to go into the Deep Roads is where I finally gave up for now. Just too damn long. I actually went back to Mass Effect. (Warmin’ up for ME2.)

  29. Chris Arndt says:

    Paying lawyers to draft unenforceable contracts for people who can’t understand them to perpetuate a system nobody takes seriously.

    Run-on City!

  30. SoldierHawk says:

    Shamus, what is the name of the armor your character is wearing in the second photo? It looks like kind of a cross between leather and scale…?

    Awesome either way. I want some!

    • Shamus says:

      SoldierHawk: The second image? Because my character isn’t in the second image.

      I’m assuming you mean the first. It’s actually a robe. I’m pretty sure those are the Senior Enchanter’s Robes – which I stole by swapping with Wynne when she joined up.

  31. ifriit says:

    @Heron: Ah, but the trick there is admitting to working around the EULA means you know there is a license that you didn’t agree to. They may be able to get you for deliberately running unlicensed software in that case, though that brings up the question of whether software which you purchase in a sales transaction qualifies as sold or licensed, to which the software industry answers, “yes where it benefits us, no where it doesn’t,” but law has traditionally held separate.

  32. Seamus: I think SoldierHawk is mistaking Alistair for your PC.

    SoldierHawk: He’s wearing starting scale armor. This is how basic armor looks in the game.

  33. Selifator says:

    Couple of spoilerish things.

    I know a lot of people complain about the length of Orzammar but I actually preferred it over Redcliffe and the Mages Tower. Refcliffe was far too short and silly and were it not for that stupid geezer lacking a GP I’d have gotten out of there the moment I saw the knave on the bridge.
    As for the Mage’s Tower, the Fade was nice but quite repetitive and dull, and the Tower itself is just completely stupid. Four levels, really? There’s an entire nation you can pluck mages from, thousands of tomes, tons of different spells to practice with and you have this small a tower? Blech.

  34. Scott says:

    Shamus: SoldierHawk is referring to Alistair in the second photo…

    As for Sten liking you…

    ———–SPOILER———–

    If you bring Sten on your trip to Haven and fight him, he will like you better! He also gains a plot skill.

    ———END SPOILER———

    How do you use the pink spoiler tags?

  35. Retlor says:

    Am I the only person who really liked Alistair, even when he was whining away?

    Maybe it was something to do with his voice-acting (which was pretty top-notch for all characters IMHO), but I actually wound up feeling sorry for him, rather than annoyed at him which would be my usual reaction to a whiny video game character.

    My default party wound up being myself (Dwarf Greatweapon fighter), Alistair, Wynne and my Dog (When he knocks someone down and starts shredding, they aren’t getting up again in a hurry, he soloed a darkspawn general doing just that!)

  36. Alrenous says:

    Potion-chugging should be a skill tree.

    Alrenous approves of Sten (+5)

  37. SoldierHawk says:

    Yeah, Scott’s right Shamus. For some reason I thought that you had switched to a guy model for another playthrough or something, I thought the NPC was you. Sorry about that. Should have paid better attention.

  38. Cuthalion says:

    Gah! Spellings! Morrowind. One “w”.

    *continues reading*

  39. Cuthalion says:

    If Morrigan is anything like Bastila (sp?), I dislike her already. (That and her ridiculous outfit or lack thereof in that screeny…)

    And I also liked Carth, despite the objections of many.

    (I am aware of the irony of me sp?ing Bastila…)

  40. Phil says:

    I was wondering if I should go through the game again to figure out what voice(s) Dwight Schultz did, but I’m guessing that was answered by your Mayor Murdock comment, heh. Thanks, you’ve saved me hours of effort :)

  41. Daniel says:

    Just wondering if anyone saw that the just-released patch 1.02 claims that “Certain battles were not scaling properly, resulting in excessively difficult fights. They now scale as intended.” I don’t know the details of this change, but I wonder if the current game has corrected the “difficulty saw-tooth” that was previously mentioned.

  42. Melf_Himself says:

    Haha, I use Sten as a coat rack too! I am sure to level his strength to max to make sure he can wear whatever I throw his way.

  43. Knight-Templar says:

    @Old_Geek:

    I really did hate Howe, really, really, hate. A sure war to make me hate a chracter is Betrayal, that is something I find hard to forgive, and never forget.

    “Minor spoilers for human noble, spoilers relate to act III materal”
    SPOILERS
    Killing Howe felt better than anything else in that game, I ordered my tteam to back off (hold posision) and took him down by myself.

  44. Axle says:

    I Started playing DA on sunday as a dwarf noble rogue and I have to say that i am having a good time, especially from the good writing (Since I Dont have too much time to play, I am still in Ostagar). It realy makes me like that little mute guy…
    Anyways. Since I am not from the US or Canada I don’t realy care about this EULA thing. Their lawyers cant touch me, since no one is representing them over here.
    I didnt meet Morigan yet, but from the screen captures I saw of her I realy cant understand how is it possible to fight alongside a woman who is dressed like that… Or even walk alongside her… Why can’t bioware dress up their women characters in something that makes sense and not something that is more suitable for the beach or the academy awards. shsh.

  45. Danath says:

    Frankly I hate that I have to have a rogue to open chests. My rogue is basically a waited party slot since all I did was pump cunning, pickpocket, and lockpicking, leaving their combat abilities for 95% of the game completely worthless. I just recently decided to throw her out, and just bring Oghren or Sten or Shale instead and my damage has been so much better, no more retarded rogue running out and dieing instantly to bowfire cause of no defense. No more gimped damage.

    Cunning isn’t a terrible stat, but to be an effective pickpocket/lockpicker you need to pump it to about 35 or 40, to the exclusion of other stats if you want to open chests in a timely manner. Bow’s being bugged and relying on str for damage instead of dex doesn’t help either, that’s for sure. Course if I playthrough again, I might just saw “screw it” and leave all locked chests to their fate, alone and unloved, while I make my rogues “not suck”.

    I made zevran all good, good gear, good damage, but I can’t ever USE him, cause he can’t effectively pickpocket or lockpick chests, so argh, watching Leliana melee/shoot for 1 damage just makes me sad.

    @Everyone

    On female characters, be a warrior, the gear is actually sensible and covers everything, and looks amazingly good, none of that random stripperific stuff, I was quite impressed. Mage/rogue gear though is a hoot, I specifically kept Leliana in Chantry’s robes for the whole game now specifically so I didn’t have to see her in the studded leather.

    • Falco Rusticula says:

      Are you playing on the PC? Because Leliana was doing a lot more damage in my version of the game, (192 damage with Arrow of Slaying) and she was still able to open most locks…

  46. someboringguy says:

    That’s the problem in the game, there are 20 character levels, with 3 stat points each, and in order to make an effective rogue you need cunning for lockpicking which doesn’t even make sense.I suppose that the next game will have the option to rob someone by using the stat “smartassery” which will be used only for robbing.
    Also dexterity for sharp blade damage and avoiding hits…wisdom for stamina, because there are no stamina potions.Way to go…And warriors are pathetic, they don’t do enough damage, except for the two-handed swords that are simply to slow, and when you miss, there is like 1 hit every 5 seconds when the enemies hit 5 once every 1.5 seconds.GRR

  47. Smirker says:

    @49 – In terms of the chests and Rogues there’s a couple of workarounds that I’m aware of.

    But first of all I should state that other than some letters for the ‘Correspondence Interruptus’ quest they are not vital – and even for that you need to either have your MC be a rogue or use a cheat or two to open them. I know there is one in a chest in Arl Emon’s house — so you can’t finish that quest unless you can open that chest — and you are locked in solo mode for it.

    As for the cheats (if on a PC of course) –

    1) You can use the console and add the Rogue class to your MC and even add the talents (the console commands will add it even if you don’t have the prerequisites for the skill/talent).

    2)There is a mod out there I thik on dragon Age nexus that gives spells to open chests — but haven’t tried it.

    3) For pickpocketing you can use the console to add the stealing traits as well. Honestly, THIS skill (stealing) is far more significant to me than the chests. Chests give you random stuff which can add up — but is nothing vital and especially at lower levels is quite poor. Stealing however can net you LOTS of extra healing poultices off guards and commoners – which is oh-so-handy. If you opt into this — make sure to download a mod to reduce the Stealing cooldown. I think there is one or two up on the Dragon Age nexus and Bioware social boards. i use one that reduces the stealing cooldown to 2 seconds or so. Which works wonderfully. I COULD steal during combat I suppose – but I’m usually busy maneuvering my Rogue into a good backstab position.

    In general, I’d still recommend using the respec mod though for everyone. It’s great fun makes companion choosing more useful when you can respec someone out of a lot of talents they come with and lets you have more flexbility in who you want in your party.

  48. Smirker says:

    @50 – There’s 25 maximum possible levels. but to get that without cheats you’ll need to do every encounter, open every lock, etc.

    Rogues can also use Cunning for melee dmg (instead of strength) with one of their skills. And cunning is involved in getting more tactical slots and suppossedly for better armor penetration on mobs. So, not vital depending on how you play — but still very handy. Definately most effective for melee rogues though.

  49. Nalano says:

    @Cuthalion (43):

    Morrigan did not at all strike me as a Bastila. Bastila was an annoying woman who asked you the impossible in a Star Wars universe: Be a grey jedi. Get too far to the light side or the dark side, she pesters you. It’s nigh-impossible because Star Wars is so black-and-white that you’d have to temper every baby you kiss with an equivalent slap of a homeless man. It’s silly, even more immersion-breaking than the light/dark side system already, and doesn’t reward you in the slightest.

    Morrigan, on the other hand, is consistent and arguably more realistic in her worldview. She doesn’t like doing your dirty work for you, hems and haws whenever you go off on extended detours for sidequests to save some farmer’s daughter, and has it out for the chantry and ‘established’ mages – which makes sense, considering she’s an illegal in every sense of the word. It is entirely possible to gain her respect without being a total dick, convince her to take a new attitude to life, and whenever you ask her view on things they make sense.

    ‘Course, her attitude is acerbic to many (especially if you play the game like most Bioware games are expected to be played – aka the goody-two-shoes way) and, like Sten, she gets a lot of detractors for being curt at best. Well, I like her AND Sten and tire very quickly of Alistair’s incessant and insipid whining whenever I make a decision on something and Wynne’s Group Mother moralizing whenever I come across yet another tortured soul after my hard-earned money.

    What I find funny is that Shamus doesn’t like Morrigan while liking Sten, considering Sten HATES wasting time on sidequests and usually dislikes the same things Morrigan dislikes, for similar reasons. In fact, the main difference I see between Sten and Morrigan is that Morrigan snarks all over about what she doesn’t approve of, while Sten simply complains directly to you about it. They’re both curious about world knowledge, they’re both extremely steadfast in their beliefs (and will tell you and everybody else in earshot), and they’re both so self-assured that any implications of inadequacy are rejected out of hand.

  50. Danath says:

    “You are a woman. Grey Warden’s are not women, so therefor you cannot be a woman”
    “I am a woman”
    “You cannot be a Grey Warden and a woman, one of these things must be false”

    Oh Sten, you lovable rascal.

    Dunno, my warrior rocks face, and has pretty high survivability, as long as I don’t get hit with shattering shot or CC spells I can win most fights solo. You suck at first, but once you hit about 38 str for your armor, just start diversifying, I do 1 str, 1 will, 1 con every level, has served me fine for a while.

  51. Rick W says:

    @Nalano: It sounds like you’re confusing Bastila with Kreia from KotOR2. Bastila’s a light side Jedi, and she’s pretty critical of any step you take toward the Dark Side. She has her doubts about her path, and if you are mostly light side she asks you at one point how you find it so easy to stay on the good path, but she’s still a good guy. At least up until the 2/3 point of the game.

  52. Conlaen says:

    Something I think the game really lacks is a spell like Knock, or the ability for warriors to just bash a chest or door open. I don’t want to keep a rogue in my party at all times.

  53. Avilan the Grey says:

    @Conlaen:
    Funny, in my first full playthrough (now when I have decided what I want to play for a first character: Female City Elf Rogue) I usually have two rogues in my party, me and an Leliana (me DPS and lockpick, she ranger and buff (bard))
    The other characters are Morrigan and Alistair, usually.

    Oppinions varies, of course :)

  54. acabaca says:

    “The second Act makes up probably 80% of the game. I didn’t know it, but I had just finished Act II when I started the game over. For some reason, I had simply assumed that Act III would be just as massive and involved as Act II, and that I was only halfway through the game.”

    Bioware has done this sort of thing before. In Jade Empire, chapters 4 through to 7 are together shorter than each of the three chapters that preceded them.

  55. Michael says:

    acabaca, They’ve been doing this for a while, but I was genuinly shocked at how short the game actually is. We’ve been hearing all this crap about it being a 100 hour game, and my GF’s playthrough lasted about 35 hours. (I still haven’t finished it on account of school, but, I’m 30 hours in, and realistically, I’ve only got about 10 hours to go.)
    I really expected that, with the speed the game was going, that act III was going to be more like NWN1, where there’s two or three full acts before it goes into the endgame.

  56. Jeff says:

    Being surrounded as a mage isn’t really an issue so long as you’re packing the Crushing Prison line – which every mage should. 1 point for Mind Blast, which stuns everything around you.

  57. Related to the EULA:

    Borderlands patch 1.1, and the DLC, ADDS SecuROM.

    After the game is released. And then it’s patched. And then it’s got SecuROM.

    W
    T
    F

    I love Borderlands, but that quashes my desire to get the PC version too.

  58. Shadowrun for the Super NES had a great arena scene in the Caryards.

    Final Fantasy II had an arena trap that the Emperor put you through.

  59. Johan says:

    “I can’t bear to sell this armor but I’m not using it now. Sten, you’ve just been promoted to coat-rack. #DragonAge”

    Funniest thing I’ve read today :D

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